Mini Reviews #7: Faith Erin Hicks edition

Over the summer, I picked up a new graphic novel at the library, simply because I wanted to read something graphic other than The Walking Dead. The newest Faith Erin Hicks was sitting on my cart to be shelved, so I just snatched it up and took it home. The novel was Friends with Boys, and because of it I fell in love with the illustrations and story-telling talents of Faith Erin Hicks. So, I continued to read her back log of graphic novels because I am OBSESSED! So, here is a special set of mini reviews dedicated to Faith Erin Hicks’ graphic novels!

2200042Zombies Calling by Faith Erin Hicks

“Survival is usually ambiguous in a zombie movie, but we have the rules to protect us. We will survive.”

Joss’ life sucks. She’s in the middle of university exams and student loan debt when she’d much rather be watching the zombie movies she loves. So it’s no surprise that when she tells her roommates that she’s been attacked by a swarm of real-life, brain-hungering zombies–zombies!–they think the stress has finally cracked her.

But Joss knows she’s sane–and it’s a good thing, too! Because the zombies are real, and she’s the only one who knows how to fight them. Armed with “The Rules,” truths about fighting the undead gleaned from zombie movies, Joss, Sonnet and Robyn just might make it out of their dorm alive.

My Snippet Review:  When I found out that FEH had written a zombie graphic novel, I was SUPER excited to read it! I had to ILL this one from outside of my county. And then it came, and I was really pumped! Unfortunately, the story just fell flat. I didn’t completely understand what was going on plot wise, and then the story just ends. Kind of silly. That being said, the illustrations are wonderful and lend to great character development, as always. So this one was just meeehh for me, but that could be because this was the last one I actually read. Would have liked it better if the ending felt more complete and answered SOMETHING. Oh well.

My Bookshelf Rating: A Second Shelf Book (2 out of 5 Stars)

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Brain Camp by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, and Faith Erin Hicks8044106

“Neither artistic, dreamy Jenna nor surly, delinquent Lucas expected to find themselves at an invitation-only summer camp that turns problem children into prodigies. And yet, here they both are at Camp Fielding, settling in with all the other losers and misfits who’ve been shipped off by their parents in a last-ditch effort to produce a child worth bragging about.

But strange disappearances, spooky lights in the woods, and a chilling alteration that turns the dimmest, rowdiest campers into docile zombie Einsteins have Jenna and Lucas feeling more than a little suspicious . . . and a lot afraid.”

My Snippet Review: Are you a fan of government conspiracies and experimentation stories? Then you will really enjoy this graphic novel! Jenna and Lucus find themselves in a situation that is, for lack of a better word, WEIRD! This graphic novel is just WEIRD! I loved the development of this mysterious plot so much! And though FEH mostly provided the illustrations, she puts so much emotion into her art it just makes the whole reading experience so much better!

My Bookshelf Rating: A Middle Shelf Book! (3.5 out of 5 Stars!)

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4065472War at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks

“Juniper is the newest scholarship student at the prestigious Ellsmere Academy. She soon finds herself labeled a “special project,” harried by stringent standards, and in the novel position of being someone’s nemesis.

Luckily for Jun, she has an ally in the quirky Cassie, who tells her the story of Ellsmere’s eccentric founders and the legend of the creature that roams the woods on the school’s grounds. But can Cassie help Jun survive Ellsmere? Between queen bees and mythical beasts, Jun has quite the year ahead of her.”

My Snippet Review: I love reading stories that take place in schools (what can I say? Mean Girls is one of my favorite movies!). And this book is all about girl wars at boarding school! An entertaining and fierce world. But friendship will prevail! And if all else fails, there are always unicorns! Another great story by FEH.

My Bookshelf Rating: A Middle Shelf Book! (3.5 out of 5 Stars!)

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Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

“After years of homeschooling, Maggie is starting high school. It’s pretty terrifying.11389398

Maggie’s big brothers are there to watch her back, but ever since Mom left it just hasn’t been the same.

Besides her brothers, Maggie’s never had any real friends before. Lucy and Alistair don’t have lots of friends either. But they eat lunch with her at school and bring her along on their small-town adventures.

Missing mothers…distant brothers…high school…new friends… It’s a lot to deal with. But there’s just one more thing.

MAGGIE IS HAUNTED.”

My Snippet Review: Maggie is starting public school…in 9th grade. She is extremely nervous, but knows that her brothers will be there with her. She makes friends with Lucy and her brother, Alistair, who her brothers do not like. This story encompasses many complex elements, especially for it being a standalone graphic novel. Faith Erin Hicks explores the relationships between all of the siblings, (Zander and Lloyd twins, and Daniel the oldest). It also explores the effects of  the mother walking out on her family. And then there is the friendship storyline, and why Alistair went from popular jock to mohawk man. And then there is the ghost story, whcih drives the second half.  For a graphic novel, there is a lot of character and plot development, and I found this story to be engaging and intriguing. It is definitely an easy “read in one sitting” kind of book. I honestly hope that Hicks continues writing graphic novels about these characters, because I think there is a lot more than can be developed and explored. And, I just really like them a lot!

My Bookshelf Rating: A Fourth Shelf Book! (4 out of 5 stars!)

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16002011Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks

“You wouldn’t expect Nate and Charlie to be friends. Charlie’s the laid-back captain of the basketball team, and Nate is the neurotic, scheming president of the robotics club. But they are friends, however unlikely—until Nate declares war on the cheerleaders. At stake is funding that will either cover a robotics competition or new cheerleading uniforms—but not both.

It’s only going to get worse: after both parties are stripped of their funding on grounds of abominable misbehavior, Nate enrolls the club’s robot in a battlebot competition in a desperate bid for prize money. Bad sportsmanship? Sure. Chainsaws? Why not. Running away from home on Thanksgiving to illicitly enter a televised robot death match? Of course!

In Faith Erin Hicks’ and Prudence Shen’s world of high school class warfare and robot death matches, Nothing can possibly go wrong.”

My Snippet Review: This story starts out as a typical jocks vs. nerds. But then they have to ban together to save the robot and earn money for both of their clubs! And nothing could possibly go wrong, right? Honestly, this is just a cute story filled with characters you just want to root for! And it is so much more than just an us + them = together kind of story. There is a lot of emotion and a lot of development for a graphic novel.

My Bookshelf Rating: A Middle Shelf Book (3 out of 5 Stars)

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My Conclusion: I am obsessed with Faith Erin Hicks and the depth of her beautiful artwork.

Have you read any of these graphic novels? What did you think?

Love and The Blacklist,
Jennifer

 

 

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