Indestructible: Growing Up Queer, Cuban, and Punk in Miami
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About the Author
Adolescence is a turbulent time for anyone, but when you are a queer Latina millennial with a unibrow, who likes Aerosmith and punk rock, there are additional challenges. Indestructible, Cristy C. Road's graphic-novel memoir of coming of age in Miami, is an edgy, honest, and nuanced chronicle of her young-adult years, accented with her highly textured, monochrome illustrations.
Though she describes a feminist mother and other supportive relatives, Cristy rebels against her family's cultural expectation that queerness should be repressed. She'd rather dye her hair green and use live reptiles as earrings than go to a nail salon and is frustrated that "ideas like vegetarianism and resisting beauty standards only existed in white America." She wants to stay out late at night, drink beer, and talk about sex, things which are only considered acceptable male behaviors among her peers and make most of her friends view her as a "discomfited novelty."
The narrative is often insightful and reflective, and there are many colorful conversations between her and her circle of friends. These other "misfits" are listening posts and guides to an alternative and optimistic future where the heroine can shed her self-doubts and grow into someone other than who society and family expect her to be. Cristy's account is a positive one for young-adult readers struggling with their identity or sexuality, but there is frank discussion of mature topics like masturbation and drug use, and the language is laced with salty and sexual slang.
Road's illustrations are the perfect window into her youthful life. They have an overall punk-rock, cartoony feel, but look past the dramatic composition and bold outlines and show how the artist magnifies the beauty in what typically might be viewed as ugliness--stubble on Cristy's arms, lacy detail in music posters on a bedroom wall, grit on an urban sidewalk.
Indestructible is a vivid and highly personal account of Cristy's journey to adulthood, with positive messages of fighting against self-hatred and cultural oppression and encouraging female solidarity over competitiveness.--Rachel Jagareski "Foreword Reviews "
"Road's novel is a testimony of survival--a powerful reminder of how we must create (and re-create) our identities--whether the mainstream is with us, or not." --Feminist Review "Author and illustrator Cristy Road paints her adolescence, particularly high school, as a cultural background where her Latina heritage, sexual curiosity, and love of punk collided with the trappings of popular culture on a 24-hour basis." --Wonka Vision Magazine "Bursting with wild life, true heartache, sassy insight, righteous mouthing-off, desperate crushes, and more gasping laughter than a slumber party. Her artwork is a party on the page, or a riot, or a revolution. With language and imagery she is creating a mural of radical joy." --Michelle Tea "Wavering between moments of empowerment and patriarchal oppression, we are brought along for the emotional journey from self-questioning, to self-deprecation, to self-assertion, to learning girl-solidarity, to becoming a nurturer and a fierce heroine"..."demonstrates how much we all grow internally through the rough years from preteen to young adulthood, trying to figure out how we want to relate to ourselves and the worlds around us." --Left Turn Magazine