I Love Him to Pieces
by Evonne Tsang
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My Boyfriend is a Monster 1: I Love Him to Pieces / 978-0-761-37079-6
I love zombie novels and I'm a big fan of graphic novels, so I was excited to see the news on NetGalley that a new graphic novel series - "My Boyfriend is a Monster" - has been launched with the first title having a zombie apocalypse theme.
At 130+ pages, this graphic novel is a fairly quick read, but it's incredibly fun, wonderfully well-written, and beautifully drawn. The story follows the tale of high school students Dicey and Jack Chen - a lovely baseball star and an utterly adorable science nerd - as they are paired in the school's "egg project" for health class. The two students are incredibly well-characterized and fleshed-out, and they grow realistically closer as they come to realize that there's so much more to their personalities than the stereotypes each one had been expecting.
When the two leave school early to go on their first date, things get a little dicey when a zombie plague breaks out - and I would like to add as a long-time zombie fan that the mandatory "explanation text" is well-done, realistic, and kept to a satisfying level: not too little, not too much. When everything goes horribly wrong and Jack Chen is bitten, it's up to Dicey to save them both.
There are so many things to love about this novel. I enjoy the characterization immensely: Dicey is a perfect example of how to write a three-dimensional girl who is equal parts capable and vulnerable and feminine and determined. Jack Chen is equally well fleshed-out - sweet, quiet, and shy, he starts with preconceptions about "jocks" and comes to learn that Dicey and her baseball teammates are more complex than their stereotypes. I love the pacing and the drawing - each panel flows easily into the other, and seems like a natural extension of the story. The graphic novel format works incredibly well with the zombie apocalypse setting, and adds a surprising level of tension to the action.
This really is the perfect example of a graphic novel done well. Poorly done graphic novels leave the reader feeling disoriented and confused, but this novel feels like you've read a complete and entire book, but in an exquisitely-drawn picture format. I highly recommend this to zombie enthusiasts as a fun read, and I hope the next in the series is as well-written and beautifully done.
NOTE: This review is based on a free Advance Review Copy of this book provided through NetGalley.
~ Ana Mardoll
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