Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood - Marjane Satrapi, Blake Ferris, Mattias Ripa I had been meaning to read this book for years. I think the first time I heard of it was when the movie came out (which I still need to see), and everyone was raving about it, etc. And I soon found out that it was based on this graphic novel (or, from what I've heard, Marjane Satrapi prefers the term "comic book"). So, since I tend to always read the book before seeing the movie, I intended to read this. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was one of the very first books I added to my "to-read" list here on Goodreads when I first joined ... and that was like, more than five years ago. In case you don't already know, Persepolis is an autobiographical comic book chronicling the childhood of the author, Marjane "Marji" Satrapi, as she grows up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. The story focuses on when Marji is six to fourteen years old, during which she experiences the Revolution, the overthrow of the Shah, and the beginning of the war with Iraq. I don't even really know where to start. All I can say is, HOLY HELL this book is amazing. It's less than 200 pages long and drawn in simple comic strips, and yet it's packed with so much story and so much emotion. First of all, Marji is easy to fall in love with. She's not perfect by any means, and has a lot of misunderstandings about the world, and the author is unflinching in her portrayal of her childhood self. But of course, Marji's flaws are what make her a compelling character and it's easy to sympathize with her. Secondly, loved the illustrations. They are very simplistic, and apparently for some people that takes away from the serious parts of the story. Personally, though, I thought the simple style added a lot to it. Since it's from a child's point of view, I think the illustration style makes a lot of sense. Even in the most horrific scenarios, Marji still sees through a child's innocent eyes, so it makes sense that she'd depict horrible things in a more innocent way––and it's just as effective, if not more. There are a lot of striking illustrations that really stuck with me. I also love that Satrapi makes the historical context of the story accessible without it becoming too complicated or falling into too much of an info dump. She doesn't leave the reader in the dark and drops an explanation here and there, and they're not too detailed, but they're easy enough to understand. And that's important in understanding some events in the story, and also just learning about the Islamic Revolution in general.What I think I love most, though, is the balance of humor and tragedy in the book. With such dark subject matter, it would be easy to become focused on the negative rather than the positive. But Satrapi masterfully balances both the dark and the light side of her story. One moment I would be laughing out loud and the next I would be in tears. Over all, I found it to be a very touching and powerful story with a lot of heart. It's one of the only books I've ever immediately re-read after reading it the first time. I hope to read the sequel soon!