Thursday, March 1, 2012

Graphic Novel Review: Friends With Boys

Title: Friends With Boys
Author: Faith Erin Hicks
Illustrator: Faith Erin Hicks
Publisher: First Second
Pages: Paperback; 224
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Source: NetGalley
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.
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N

Can I please proclaim my love for Friends With Boys? It has been a long while since I had the pleasure of diving into a graphic novel, and so I'm happy to say that Faith Erin Hicks satisfied my every bookish need. What you'll find between these pages is the perfect mixture of sweet, spooky, and downright funny. New to the world of graphic novels? This is a great place to start!

What impressed me most about this story was the characters. They easily steal the show. Faith Erin Hicks brings to life a quirky family who I would be happy to meet in real life. Maggie is the youngest of four and all her siblings are, you guessed it, boys! Maggie's character is sweet and shy. Her brothers are all kind, boisterous characters who shine off the page. Their love for one another is evident, even as they have their normal sibling rivalries. Lucy and her brother Alistair are also deliciously different and realistic. There isn't a single character who outshines the others, and I adored that fact.

Faith Erin Hicks shows her prowess at creating emotion without words in Friends With Boys. With the use of gorgeously rendered facial expressions, Hicks allows the reader a glimpse at Maggie's emotions without blatantly spelling them out. This also allows the chance for a lot of open ended situations! There is a lot in this story that can be interpreted many different ways. I'm anxious to see if this will be a series, in huge part because there is so much that I still want to know.

There is a very mild supernatural element to this story. Mild enough that it doesn't overpower the story, but still present enough that it gives it a nice twist. If you are not one to read paranormal, fret not! The story line of this graphic novel contains much more than ghost stories. Friends With Boys is about growing up, finding out who you really want to be, and also the power of a loving family. In fact, there is so much to love here that I devoured this graphic novel in a mere half hour! Let's be honest, it's that good.

My one gripe? The ending! Ah. I won't spoil, but it definitely leaves a lot of things unanswered, which made me chomp at the bit for more. I'm in for the long haul. Maggie and her crew are welcome on my reading list any time!

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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