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

First Second Books has one finished copy for one lucky winner! Fill out the fancy doo-hickey below to be entered. US only, please.


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22 comments:

  1. This looks good. I bet it'd make a good Readathon selection... Yeah, I know it's not even March but I like to keep an eye out for my Readathon pile.

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  2. This one looks really interesting! Thanks for the great review. :)

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  3. This sounds like a great story!

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  4. This looks great! Love the art.

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  5. I'm always tentative with graphic novels--thanks for such a great review!! I'll be sure to add it to my TBR pil :D

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  6. I've been wanting to get into graphic novels. This looks like a good place to start. Thanks for the opportunity.

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  7. Sounds like a pretty good book. :)

    -Maddi

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  8. I hope her home-school past comes into the plot a little! All of my little nieces and nephews are home-schooled, and as that trend grows, I think it would be interesting to see home-schooling pop up more often in YA fiction. I haven't read it yet, but that title really doesn't seem to fit. Neither the title nor the cover would have given me any clues about the content. I love the artwork already! Thanks for the introduction :)

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  9. This looks like a fantastic graphic novel! The illustration you shared is super cute. (This might even be something that I need to order for my library branch.)

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  10. This sounds like something my students would love. I especially liked how you said, "Words are said, punches are thrown, and the cops are called." My students would be all about that.

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  11. I'm trying to read more Graphic Novels these days. They can be really great finds every now and then.

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  12. i love graphic novels, i hope i win!

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  13. Never read a graphic novel, if I win I'll let you know what I think

    wihockeycall(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  14. Sounds like a great book. Awesome graphics too.

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  15. I like the sound of it - awesome first page :)

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  16. I read this on netgalley, but couldn't really get the full effect because the format was weird, so I would love a physical copy!

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  17. I love graphic novels and this sounds like a great one!

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  18. Oh, this sounds wonderful! And the art looks really pretty, too. Thanks for the chance to win! :D

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  19. Looks great! Thank you for taking the time to do this giveaway :)

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  20. Oh my, I love page 2 with "FIRST DAY" in every panel! I've started getting into graphic novels. My book club is trying to find one to read and discuss. (commenting as Justine)

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  21. I would love a chance to read this book - Thanks!
    kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com

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