“Friends with Boys” by Faith Erin Hicks | Book Review

Hicks, Faith Erin. Friends with Boys. New York: First Second, 2012. Genre: Contemporary, Graphic Novel Recommended Age Group: 13 and up Personal reaction to the book Friends with Boys is a graphic novel by Faith Erin Hicks about a teen, Maggie, who is forced to start public school like her three older brothers. She is awkward and, as the new kid, nobody really pays attention to her except Lucy and her older brother Alistair, both of whom have mohawks and are outsiders. Maggie negotiates high school as well as her insecurities of hanging out with Lucy and Alistair and living in her older brothers’ shadows. I initially liked this book a lot, but the more I think about it the more I think the execution is off.


“Through the Woods” by Emily Carroll | Book Review

Carroll, Emily. Through the Woods. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014. Genre: Graphic Novel, Short Stories Intended Audience: 14 and up Personal reaction This graphic novel was scary, but delightfully so. Through the Woods collects five or six short vignettes that could be classified in the horror genre. All the vignettes (I suppose you could call them short stories) were related to the theme that creepy, haunted, scary, predatory, etc things lurk in forests. The vignettes were entertaining and thoroughly creepy. The style kind of reminded me of those Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books by Alvin Schwartz combined with vintage Tim Burton and a little bit Neil Gaiman with some Stephen King thrown in for good measure.


“We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart | Book Review

Lockhart, E. We Were Liars. New York: Delacourte, 2014. Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Psychological Thriller Intended Audience: 14 and up Personal reaction to the book In Lockhart’s We Were Liars, the main character and narrator, Cadence Sinclair, has experienced a mysterious “accident” that has left her with crippling headaches, vomiting, and memory issues. This accident took place during “Summer 15,” or the summer of her fifteenth year which she spent on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her cousins and their friend “Gat.” Cady, her cousins, and Gat form a group called the Liars. After her accident on summer 15, Cady is not allowed to go back for summer 16 and returns on summer 17. Nobody will give her a clear idea of how her accident took place, and this forms the central mystery of the novel: will she remember what happened?


“Dramarama” by E. Lockhart | Book Review

Lockhart, E. Dramarama. New York: Hyperion, 2007. Genre: Contemporary Intended Audience: 14 and up Personal reaction This was the second book by E. Lockhart that I’ve read this fall, and I adored it. This novel recounts the friendship of Demi, a gay, African American teenage boy, and Sarah aka “Sadye,” a straight, white teen girl concentrating especially on the summer they were away at a boarding school for theatre arts. Sadye (the narrator) and Demi originally come to Wildwood Academy with only each other as friends. They have met the winter before and saved each other from a life of mainstream “vanilla” boredom in their small town in Ohio.


“Side Effects May Vary” by Julie Murphy | Book Review

Murphy, Julie. Side Effects May Vary. New York: Balzer & Bray (Harper), 2014. Genre: Contemporary Recommended Audience: 16 and up Personal reaction to the book In this novel, sixteen-year-old Alice is living under the impression that she’s going to die from terminal cancer. To live it up in her final days, she recruits her friend Harvey to get pay back and revenge for all the people who’ve wronged her. Harvey, a good-natured guy, goes along with most things believing that Alice is in love with him and that they would have a future together if she were to live. Well, Alice finds out she’s no longer terminal and is in complete remission, thereby causing awkward situations with Harvey and the people whose lives she ruined in revenge.


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Welcome to Broke By Books, a blog by Sarah S. Davis, where the guiding mission is to spread a contagious love for reading through helpful, thought provoking, and enjoyable writing about books. Please join me in growing an inspired, engaged, and fearless reading life.

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