Feb 23, 2012

Review - Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks (+Giveaway)

Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
February 28th, 212 from First Second Books

After being homeschooled her entire life by her now estranged mother, Maggie starts her first day of 9th grade at a public high school. As she walks through the cemetery on the way to school, she meets up with an old acquaintance...a ghost. Maggie has been followed by this curly haired woman in a long, white gown for years, but lately she has been following Maggie home. At school, she befriends a quirky girl, Lucy, with half a shaved head and piercings and her quiet mohawked older brother, Alistair. Eventually, Maggie confides in Lucy and Alistair about her otherwordly follower and they devise a plan to help the ghost settle her "unfinished business" and send her on her merry way. Everything comes to a head when the plan goes horribly wrong. Words are said, punches are thrown, and the cops are called.

There is a lot going on in this book and, at times, with little dialogue. Isn't that what a graphic novel is all about? Using art to tell a story. Facial expressions are all that is needed and luckily, the detail in these pages are terrific. In fact, there is an extraordinary amount of detail in the settings as well. The opening pages of Maggie waking up on that first day in her bedroom are terrific. There is so much to look at and so much we can learn about her in those opening scenes.
There are quite a few mysteries going on, some subtle and some obvious. Who is this ghost and why has she been following Maggie off and on for over 7 years? Also, why does one of Maggie's brothers don a Ghostbusters tee-shirt toward the end? What do the brothers know about the ghost, if anything? Where did the children's mother run off too? Is it as simple as her dad said - she just needed to do something for her? There are a lot of things to think about and a lot of characters come out to play. I really enjoyed reading and this story definitely kept my attention - I read in one sitting very easily. I hope there is a book two - not all of those questions above are answered. My only little tiny beef: I don't care for the book title. Personally, I think it sounds more like a first love kind of story. Regardless, I'm hoping for a book two to help wrap up some of those loose ends.

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You can find Hicks at her website

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