Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

Title: Friends With Boys
Author: Faith Erin Hicks
Publisher: First Second 
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Graphic Novel
Release date: February 28th, 2012
Pages: 224 (Paperback)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: For review

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.

Before I even knew what this book was about, I wanted it purely because of the title and cover.  As it turns out, it was a great decision.  The illustrations were quite appealing to me, as they reminded me a bit of some of the manga I used to read in middle school.  As for the story, the plot and characters ended up being sweet, fun, and very relatable.

Maggie is starting high school, but not the way she thought she would.  Unlike her brothers, she'd never really dealt with having to make friends because she'd been home-schooled up until now.  Maggie's 3 older brothers are great characters from the start.  The oldest serves as her mentor whenever she's about to have a nervous breakdown and the other two are hilarious twins trying to make sure that other people don't perceive them as the same person.

Of course, anyone who has dealt with being "the new kid" has sympathy for Maggie.  Starting at a new school is tough, especially when it's your first time, but I think kids in high school are much more judgmental than they are in elementary or middle school.  Soon enough, she befriends a brother and sister who prove to act very genuine towards her when she needs someone other than her own brothers.

The paranormal twist wasn't very large, but it was interesting, leading the three of them on a small adventure.  I did feel that the story ended a little too abruptly and I would like to see more from it.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed everything about the novel.  Although I've read it two months ago, everything is still fresh in my mind.  This will be one of those books I'll pick up again and reread when I'm having a rough day.

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