• Interest Level: Grade 9 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 7

“One of the most memorable debut graphic novels in recent years.”—IGN

Olive is spending the summer before art school at a coveted internship, helping one of the fashion industry’s elite digital-imaging specialists. After a glamourous New York photoshoot, she learns that taking pictures is only the first step. She discovers the “violent verbs” (cut, crop, slice, lasso) of image retouching software and the secrets behind “virtual models.”

Soon Olive is fixating on her own appearance and pondering the ethics of her work behind the scenes. As college gets closer, she’ll try to get out of her own head, attempt to quit the Internet, and finally embrace image-making on her own terms. Unretouchable is a window into the little-known, hugely influential world of fashion photography and a tribute to self-acceptance.

“A tribute to self-acceptance.”—AIPT

“Unretouchable perfectly utilizes the form to talk about the consequences of images and how they can be manipulated.”—SCREENRANT

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Interest Level Grade 9 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 7
Genre Graphic Novels, Young Adult
Category Diverse Books: Feminism, Diverse Books: Mental Health & Neurodiversity, Diversity, SEL: A Self-Awareness, SEL: B Self-Management, SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2022
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Graphic Universe ™
Language English
Number of Pages 152
Publication Date 2022-09-13
Text Type Fiction
BISACS YAF010070, YAF058090, YAF008000
Dewey 741.5/973
Dimensions 6 x 9
Lexile 540
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Original artwork, and Reviewed

Author, Illustrator: Sofia Szamosi

Sofia Szamosi is an artist, author and zinester from New York City. She is obsessed with analog photo booths and lives in Massachusetts with her husband, daughter and three-toothed pomeranian named Breakfast.

Unretouchable: An Interview with Author Sofia Szamosi

In the new YA graphic novel by debut author Sofia Szamosi, readers follow Olive as she spends the summer before art school at a coveted internship helping one of the fashion industry’s elite digital-imaging specialists. After a glamourous New York photoshoot, she learns that taking… View →


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  • Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards Finalist, Short-listed, 2023
  • TLA Maverick Graphic Novels Reading List, Winner, 2023
  • New York Public Library Best Books for Teens, Winner, 2022



“Olive’s journey to seeking balance on the social Internet is important. The black-and-white drawings contrast well with Szamosi’s plot that grapples with the gray areas of contemporary life.”—Booklist

Publishers Weekly

“Szamosi employs witty narration and stark b&w ink to deliver a sincere, offbeat cautionary graphic novel of social media’s pitfalls, including its effect on mental health and body image.” –Publishers Weekly

Kirkus Reviews

“This tale pairs bold, blocky, black-and-white art with text sharing Olive’s deeply introspective musings. . . . An appealing look at important issues . . .”—Kirkus Reviews

Sadie Radinsky

“Written with empathy, wisdom and humor, Unretouchable makes us feel heard and understood. I couldn’t put it down!” —Sadie Radinsky, author, Whole Girl: Live Vibrantly, Love Your Entire Self, and Make Friends with Food

Aliza Kelly

“Soulful, playful, and full of heart, Unretouchable is a timeless coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of our modern, digital world.” —Aliza Kelly, author, Starring You: A Guided Journey Through Astrology and This Is Your Destiny: Using Astrology to Manifest Your Best Life

Emily Meade

“Sofia has a magical eye and voice. Her ability to take something classic and turn it on its head is something I had never seen before her work.” —Emily Meade, actor, Dead Ringers, The Leftovers, and The Deuce