Jo's Reviews > Friends with Boys

Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
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's review
Nov 25, 11

bookshelves: for-review, graphic-novels, ya, e
Read in November, 2011

“What about you? What’s your brand of crazy?”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Um… huh?! Is this a series? But mostly fantastic.

High Points.
Maggie. Lucy. Alistair. The Brother’s Brill. New school. New friends. Alien. Sigourney Weaver in a bikini. Maritime Ghosts. Maps. “Awesome Rebel Social Group”. Change. “Drinking the Kool-Aid.” Awesome dad. Graveyards. Secret pasts. Volleyball boys. Friends you don’t grow out of.

Low Points.
I’m not sure whether Ms Hicks plans to write a sequel or turn this story into a series or not but there were two major questions that were left unanswered.
I didn’t really need to know the answers, but I would like to have.

I hope it’s a series, though.

Heroine.
Maggie (Or Magsby to Daniel), oh my heart bled for you. The thought of starting a new high school half way through a year turns my blood to ice.
I loved how incredibly normal you are (why is it that heroines in graphic novels are never angsty and dramatic and blaaah?) and your dry humour and how you just let your brothers get on with it.
Not sure how I feel about you not knowing who Patti Smith is, but it’s OK because between Lucy and I will give you an education.
Also, I loved that you’re a super mad film geek and love Alien and think that Ms Ripley was put in the film purely for you (which is true… except she was also put in there for me too).

Brothers.
I love my brother to bits and pieces but he’s not a rough and tumble kind of guy. He wouldn’t have left me running through a graveyard because he would have been glued to his computer, while I sat on the spare spinny chair complaining that watching him play on computer games is boring and I demand attention NOW.
So it was great to see these brothers with their play-fights, their banter and their realistic relationships between them, especially Zander and Lloyd who had me in stitches.

Love Interest-ish.
He’s not really a love interest but I feel like I need to have a mini shout out for Alistair.
Because I have a little crush on him.
What?! He has a Mohawk, you guys.

Best Friend.
So Lucy and I are pretty much the same person (so, naturally, she’s boss).
Love for ghosties- check.
Love for museums- check.
Get scared at films and then say they weren’t after they’ve jumped so hard the people in the row behind at the cinema have popcorn everywhere- check.
Ability to put foot in mouth at any possibility- check.
Piercings- check.
Shaved head- Um… TBA.


Last of the Zombies: A Musical Extravaganza.
Um. Yeah… that happens.
I know. I know.
It was like Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
Except take away the ridiculous cheesy ending and add zombies.
Zombies.
More YA books should have musicals/theatre in them (Books where the heroine gets chosen to be Juliet and a brooding boy who has a past/hates women/is a supernatural being gets cast as Romeo and then they have an intense, destiny-altering snog backstage do not count and should be stricken from this earth!)

Illustrations.
Like I mentioned in my review for Blankets, I really love comic books that are in black, white and grey. I don’t know why… maybe it’s because I can pretend I’m sophisticated.
But anyway, Ms Hicks’ panels are absolutely brilliant. They convey the emotions and the feelings of the characters so perfectly that when Maggie was starting school, I actually felt a bit panicked.
And the scenes where Maggie, Alistair and Lucy were in the cinema were just hysterical… that’s exactly what I’m like.
I loved how even though it was a light-hearted story, the panels are constructed and put together with so much thought. Seriously, no detail is spared.


You can actually read this book online if you want to read it and can’t wait for it to be published! It’s being put up on every week (I think, that could be wrong) but there’s plenty of it up already!

Theme Tune.
So I was going to choose a song that portrayed the difficulties of fitting in at school and how to find yourself and your identity and boys and brothers and all those sort of things.
But then I realised that Lucy (or… well, Ms Hicks) had provided me with the only true option for this book.

Dancing Barefoot by Patti Smith.

Because… well, like I need an excuse to use a Patti Smith song as my theme tune.
I can just imagine Maggie and Lucy having an impromptu dance party to this song while Alistair pretends to disapprove.

Sadness Scale.
6/10. If those two unanswered questions were answered then this scale would have been hitched up a few notches.
But as it stands… it’s quite tame. There are some bits which were a bit sad (Poor Lucy) but spooooilers.

Recommended For.
People who love contemporary graphic novels…with the occasional ghost. People who always wonder what the deal with the bloke with Mohawk is. People who always thought volleyball was for girls (Hey, I went to an all girl’s school, don’t blame me!) People who can’t watch Alien without declaring their undying love for Sigourney Weaver. People who have seen Ghostbusters more than 314 times. People who can think of prosthetic limbs without also thinking of that bit in Monkey Island. People who believe the most important things in life are science fiction and breakfast pastries. People who would quite happily go to the Maritime Ghost Museum (Is that a real thing? Seriously… I want to go).


I received an advanced copy of this book from the publishers.

You can read this review and lots of other exciting things on my blog here.
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Reading Progress

11/22/2011 page 50
22.0% "This book is amazing. Probably should go to sleep now... a few more pages."

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Laura Hey! I was just reading about that one! :)


message 2: by Jo (last edited Nov 08, 2011 12:15PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo It's on
her website
but it's not all there and I don't want to read it and then have to wait.
I'm extremely impatient.
I just got it from Netgalley!

I'm such a sucker for my graphic novels because I'm a geek BRILLIANT.
;-)


Laura Hehe…yes you are, my friend!!! :D
I just put my request in on netgalley! There were a couple that looked.


Crowinator I just put this on my ordering list for my library based only on the fact that I liked her other graphic novel about zombies. Glad to know it's good -- great review!


message 5: by Devyani (new)

Devyani that theme song got me interested !
great review Jo :)


Noelle Ha! The Beloved Championship Boys Volleyball team! There were so many little funny moments in this one. :)

And you're right--some of her panels just kiiiiiilled me!


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