Thursday, February 9, 2012

Book Review: Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

Friends with Boys
Author: Faith Erin Hicks
Publication: First Second (February 28, 2012)

Description: A coming-of-age tale with a spooky twist!

Maggie McKay hardly knows what to do with herself. After an idyllic childhood of homeschooling with her mother and rough-housing with her older brothers, it’s time for Maggie to face the outside world, all on her own. But that means facing high school first. And it also means solving the mystery of the melancholy ghost who has silently followed Maggie throughout her entire life. Maybe it even means making a new friend—one who isn’t one of her brothers.

Funny, surprising, and tender, Friends with Boys is a pitch perfect YA graphic novel full of spooky supernatural fun.

My Thoughts: I liked this graphic novel about a young girl adjusting to some big changes in her life. Maggie McKay is starting her first day of school at the start of ninth grade. She had been home-schooled by her mother along with her three older brothers. When the story begins, her mother is gone, maybe left to find herself, her father has accepted the job as chief of police and gotten a haircut, and Maggie is going to school for the first time. 

Her brothers are there but are busy with their own thing leaving Maggie a bit lost and lonely. She makes friends with Lucy, who believes in ghosts, and Lucy's older brother Alastair. They are all sort of outcasts together. There is some tension between Alastair and the Big Man on Campus - Matt - who is the leader of the volleyball team and some tension between Alastair and Maggie's oldest brother Daniel.

Adding to the adjustment problems is the fact that Maggie sees a ghost and has seen her for years. From Lucy she learns that the ghost is the wife of a ship captain whose ship vanished. The woman lost her husband and all three of her sons. When the ship reappeared, everyone was gone. There was nothing left but the captain's prosthetic hand which is now housed in a local museum. Lucy and Maggie want to see if they can find out what the ghost wants so that they can lay her to rest - but Lucy would really love to see her first.

The story is well-drawn in a sort of manga, anime sort of way. The characters all seem to have big eyes and pointy chins. The color palate makes most of the characters look sort of scruffy. There are lots of shades of gray along with the black and white. The story is very clear and understandable and easy to follow for this graphic novel novice. I thought that the author/illustrator got quite a lot of character development in despite the relatively small amount of text in the story. I recommend it for fans of graphic novels who want something that doesn't involve any sort of superhero.

Favorite Quote:
If I do what she wants, will she leave me alone? Will things go back to normal?

I don't know. What's normal?
I received this book for review via the Amazon Vine program. You can buy your copy here.

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