Not MineFriends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
Review by: Lauren
Copy from publisher, all opinions are my own
Official Summary: 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.
Review: I really enjoyed Friends with Boys. The title does and does not make sense...it does because growing up Maggie was only friends with boys, mainly her three older brothers. When she starts high school, she even starts hanging out with a guy named Alistair. However, she's also friends with a girl...Alistair's little sister, Lucy. I figured I would point that out since the title might lead you to believe that Maggie is only ever friends with boys in the book. Just a small note...and back to my review!
Maggie, Daniel, Lloyd, and ZanderAgain, really good book. Friends with Boys is a graphic novel. All the pictures are in black and white, but honestly, that doesn't take away from the story at all. The only issue I had with the pictures was trying to figure out Maggie's twin brothers, Zander and Lloyd. Here's the trick: Zander has facial hair and Lloyd doesn't!! Once you have that, the rest is easy.
The main characters are as follows:
Maggie: has been homeschooled all her life, until she gets to high school. The book starts on her first day. She also happens to see a ghost, who starts to show up outside of the cemetery...but she never talks, leaving Maggie to wonder what she needs/wants.
Zander and Lloyd: Her older brothers who must deal with the issues that come along with being twins. Mainly everyone always expecting them to be together and doing the same things. It was an interesting addition to the book!
Daniel: Maggie's eldest brother who has dealt with being bullied in the past, but is relatively popular and a drama geek.
Maggie, Alistair, and LucyAlistair: Lucy's older brother...has had a a rough high school experience, which you learn about as you read along. Daniel tells Maggie to watch out for Alistair, but doesn't really go into many details.
Lucy: She is the first person to really approach and befriend Maggie, taking her brother along with her. She's quirky and different and loves haunted stories...perfect to help Maggie with her "ghostly issue."
The Dad: Police officer...Maggie has always been closer to her dad than her mom. She would much rather hang with him and her brothers than go shopping and do other girly things.
Maggie and the Ghost
The Ghost: The identity of the ghost is revealed in the book. This is a silent character, who first only appears to Maggie at the cemetery...then shows up elsewhere.
The Mom: Absent character, which means you never see her since she left the family. I count her as a character, though, because she's often a topic of conversation. Lucy makes Maggie feel awkward by bringing her up, not knowing she is gone, and Maggie even has a heart-to-heart near the end of the book with her brother, Daniel, about their mom.
I'm not sure if this book will have a sequel or not but I do hope so, as I did highly enjoy it. I thought the characters were all developed nicely, especially since it's done in a graphic format. I liked that Maggie used to be homeschooled as it's more and more common these days and I had two friends in high school that were homeschooled before.
I do wish that the haunted aspect was played up a bit more. It is part of the main action in the story, as Maggie is desperate to find the ghost peace...and Lucy even helps her figure out who the ghost is in the first place. At the end of the book, something about the ghost is revealed which I found interesting. Again, this was a book that ended on a nice, wrapped up note, but there is still plenty I could see being explored in another novel...and I really liked all the characters so getting to know them more would be fabulous!
After taking a graphic novel class last semester, I've been curious to check out more books in that genre so this was a lot of fun and I would recommend it! It's great for boys, girls, big or casual readers, many ages, and for those that like paranormal and contemporary books.
*I found some photos online that go along with Friends with Boys, which I placed throughout the review. The black and white ones can be found in the novel.