This was a great read; I loved the art, I adored the main characters, and the pacing was good. However, by the end, I was kind of confused about why it’s called Friends With Boys because the story seemed to center around the main character, Maggie, and her making friends with a boy and a girl. Granted, she does have three brothers that she learns better how to relate to over the course of the book, and I guess that could be considered becoming friends with them, but I was just expecting something other than the sweet coming-of-age tale of a teenager who’s mother used to home school her and her brothers but mysteriously ran off one day.
Another thing I wasn’t expecting? That Maggie is haunted. This storyline was interesting in many ways because it never really went into why she’s haunted and it wasn’t something that got resolved. Lots of times in stories, a ghost is still around because of “unfinished business” and while they did explore that a little, ultimately, that wound up not being resolved, which I appreciated. It also served to be a neat detail of interest for Maggie’s new friend, Lucy. The girl is punk, but not sterotypically so. She’s obsessed with maritime lore and legend, really bouncy, and slightly socially awkward, and I LOVE that about her. I greatly appreciate stories with strong, unique female characters like Maggie and Lucy.
The guys in the story were pretty varied, too, which was awesome. One of Maggie’s brother’s, Daniel, is a theater geek and a little on the large side (and constantly made me cast Jack Black in the role whenever his character made an appearance) while her other two older brothers, Zander and Lloyd, were more involved in this weird twin sibling kill-each-other thing. But it was obvious that they cared a lot about their little sister and each other. It was a realistically drawn broken but functioning family with some great friends to boot, and as such I highly recommend this graphic novel.