Friday, February 24, 2012
Me on Friends with Boys
Author/Illustrator: Faith Erin Hicks
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: First Second Books (Macmillan imprint)
Maggie hardly knows what to do with herself. After an idyllic childhood of homeschooling with her mom and hanging out with her brothers, it's time for her to face the outside world. High school. But it also means solving the mystery of the ghost that's followed her for years. Maybe it means making a new friend, someone who isn't her brother.
This book was a sweet coming of age story. It kept me reading through a mix of compelling characters, interesting plot points and twists, and amazing artwork. I found myself overwhelmed, in a good way, by the realism and the believability of this story, even with the ghost. Maggie's introduction to high school took me back to my own, which made me connect with her so much more than I expected to. Of course, I didn't have three older brothers there to help me out.
Away from the homeschooling, out in the real world with other teenagers and the weird way they act, Maggie's left struggling to find her place, to connect with them. She doesn't know them, they don't act like her brothers. How's she supposed to make friends right off the bat?
I loved the relationship between Maggie and her brothers, she wanted to be with them, to hang out with them, but they'd grown up on her. Grown up, maybe a little grown apart, and so Maggie's alone and floundering.
Until Lucy and Alistair. I adored Lucy and Alistair. Maggie doesn't really find them, more like they find her, and while they're a bit odd and different, they're still her new potential friends.
The ghost that Maggie sees only adds to the story, adds a sense of otherworldly mystique and intrigue, a little bit of horror in a small town. Small towns always have some kind of ghost story, always have some kind of connection.
This book kept reminding me of Hope Larson's Mercury, but I enjoyed Friends with Boys far more. Funny and heartfelt, a coming of age for a smart but semi-lost girl looking to find her own little niche in the massive world that is high school. The story was clear, not hidden in the graphic art but working along with it to give the reader something to enjoy. I hope it's not wrong to unabashedly wish for more.
(I received an e-galley of this book to review through NetGalley from First Second Books.)