Always Human
Ari North

Always Human

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256 pages | Trade Paperback

"This beautifully illustrated slice-of-life tale that shows two young women of color getting to know each other and creating a relationship is so warm and charming that readers will hardly notice how much they are learning about how to better interact with folx who are different from themselves and the importance of not making assumptions." -- Kirkus Reviews

"...soft, expressive art adds a visceral charge to the couple's very human experiences, which range from excitement and affection to pain and doubt." -- Publisher's Weekly

"This wholesome plot focuses on building understanding, offering mutual support, and budding self-acceptance, as well as the importance of asking rather than making assumptions; avoiding othering; and regarding all those in one's orbit with compassion...A charming, sensitive story of love and acceptance."--School Library Journal

" In a technologically advanced near future, two young women bumble through their first dates and fights together as they enjoy the exhilaration of new love....Always Human by Ari North is an endearingly feel-good sapphic romance set against a diverting futuristic backdrop." --Samantha Zaboski, Shelf Awareness

"In this future society, technology can be used to alter one's physical appearance in seconds. But one character, Sunati, has noticed another, Austen, who stays in her natural form. After Sunati summons the courage to ask her on a date, the two young women embark on a relationship with the usual fits and starts. It almost feels like eavesdropping as they start to open up with each other." -- George Gene Gustines, "Celebrating Pride, Panel by Panel," the New York Times

First serialized on the popular app and website WebToon, Always Human ran from 2015-2017 and amassed over 76,000 unique subscribers during its run. Now reformatted for a print edition in sponsorship with GLAAD, Always Human is a beautifully drawn graphic novel about a developing relationship between two young women in a near-future, soft sci-fi setting. Always Human is drawn in a manga-influenced style and with an incredible color palette that leaps off the page!

In the near-future, people use technology to give the illusion of all kinds of body modifications-but some people have "Egan's Syndrome," a highly sensitive immune system that rejects these "mods" and are unable to use them. Those who are affected maintain a "natural" appearance, reliant on cosmetics and hair dye at most to help them play with their looks.

Sunati is attracted to Austen the first time she sees her and is drawn to what she assumes is Austen's bravery and confidence to live life unmodded. When Sunati learns the truth, she's still attracted to Austen and asks her on a date. Gradually, their relationship unfolds as they deal with friends, family, and the emotional conflicts that come with every romance. Together, they will learn and grow in a story that reminds us no matter how technology evolves, we will remain . . . always human.

Rendered in beautiful detail and an extraordinary color palette, Always Human is a sweet love story told in a gentle sci-fi setting by a queer woman cartoonist, Ari North.


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