Friends With Boys

Friends With BoysSummary: 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. Funny, surprising, and tender, Friends with Boys is a pitch perfect YA graphic novel full of spooky supernatural fun.

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Friends With Boys, by Faith Erin Hicks 7.25

‘Friends With Boys’ is a graphic novel about Maggie, a teenaged girl who goes to a public high school for the first time, after having been homeschooled for years. It’s the story of her adaptation to this new environment and of the new friendships she makes.

And of the ghost that only she seems to see.

First released as a webcomic and then in print format in 2012, ‘Friends With Boys’ was written and drawn by Faith Erin Hicks, a Canadian graphic novelist, who based the work on her own experiences with homeschooling and her relationship with her siblings.

I knew nothing of her or her work when I first requested this book from the public library; it merely beckoned me from the “Recently Reviewed” section of their webpage. It seemed interesting. And, if it was good enough for another reader, then why not?

It was a relatively breezy book to read. The dialogues and situation were mostly commonplace and there wasn’t any especially challenging content. The characters were easy to understand and relate to and the plot is accessible enough for most readers.

The artwork (which is all black and white) is clean and nice-looking. It’s not especially slick but it renders its subjects accurately and captures the tone of the piece just fine. The characters can be slightly over-expressive but they are designed rather well.

I think what stands out the most about this book for me is the way that Hicks leaves some loose ends untied: just as in real life, sometimes you just don’t know why things unfold the way they do, and sometimes not everything gets resolved.

I like that Hicks didn’t wrap everything up, like they do in the movies.

What ‘Friends With Boys’ is, really, is a chapter in the life of its protagonist, Maggie. It doesn’t offer any grand revelations to Maggie or its readers, but it shows that everyday life can be compelling in its own right. And that alone makes this book worth reading.

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