Friends with Everyone


Friends with Boys

It’s been a while since I reviewed a graphic novel by Faith Erin Hicks — and luckily, I have one sitting right here that I can write about…

Maggie is the youngest kid in her family, preparing to start high school. She’s been home-schooled prior to this and doesn’t have a lot of friends — or really, any friends other than her older brothers. So while her brothers are as helpful as they can with trying to get her adjusted to the new world she’s stepping into, she still has a lot to figure out on her own. So she has to navigate the mean kids and the kids who ignore her and the two friendly punks — who her brothers are inexplicably hostile to.

And on top of that, Maggie is being haunted by a ghost that started following her around after she visited the cemetery.

Can Maggie make it through her first months in school? Can she make friends? Can she survive the mean kids on the volleyball team? Can she figure out how to put the ghost to rest?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a charismatic, funny, wonderfully human book.

Do we even need to talk about the art? If you’ve ever seen Hicks’ work, you know her art is primo. Her art is always fun, and if you love her art, that may be enough reason all on its own for you to pick this up.

The story itself is nothing earthshattering — it’s just a story about a kid in school, her very normal friends, her very normal enemies, her very normal family, her very normal problems. And a slightly out-of-the-normal ghost. No one has to save the world — but a great story doesn’t require the world to get saved, right? It’s a normal story, and it drags you right in.

The characters really shine in this book. It’s easy to love these characters — not just because they’re drawn attractively, but because they’re depicted, both in art and writing, with such great clarity and style. They all feel like real people — might be because Hicks has a few similarities with Maggie, but it’s also because she’s a wonderful storyteller as well as a wonderful artist.

It’s a great comic — and hey, kudos to First Second Books, which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite comics publishers for all the amazing books they’ve put on the shelves. Anyway, go pick this one up, people.

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