Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Review: Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks
Reviewed by Maggie: May 15, 2013
Published May 7, 2013 by First Second
Goodreads • Buy at AmazonKindle • Shop Indie

Nerds. Jocks. Cheerleaders. Epic battle. Sounds like your typical high school story, right? Enter the killer robots!*

I knew there was a high propinquity** that I would like this because I loved Faith Erin Hicks' Friends with Boys (my review / Noelle's review) and Prudence Shen's /report podcast is a must listen in my book club.*** After flying through the first 50 or so pages on the official website, I ended up breaking my months-long NetGalley ban to request it. And it was totally worth it.

Charlie is the popular captain of the basketball team. Nate is the much less popular president of the robotics team. They're neighbors and best friends though they are on opposite sides of the social spectrum. Nate is usually worked up about something while Charlie is laid back. The latest outrage in Nate's life: the school has decided to let the student council determine which extracurricular club gets money. The science club was going to get it so they could enter the national robotics competition, but then the cheerleaders said they needed new uniforms. Enter Holly, head cheerleader and Charlie's ex-girlfriend. Nate's solution is simple: run for student body president and make sure the science club gets the money. Yeah, that idea doesn't fly with the other members of the club either. As Ben disbelievingly tells Nate, "You're literally trying to win a popularity contest!" Holly counteracts Nate's move by entering Charlie into the race. Even though Charlie is an unwitting challenger, it's game on for Nate. Friendships, loyalties, and robots are tested.

To begin with, this book has my favorite depiction of cheerleaders ever. I mean, look at Holly's entrance in the book:
Image from the Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong website.
She enters the story like freaking Beyonce! And she has the attitude to back it up. These aren't your stereotypical cheerleaders. Nate calls them the "Pom Pom Gestapo" for a reason. They are fierce, ruthless, smart, and organized. Holly is a formidable opponent, but she is by no means a villain in the story, which I loved.

Charlie, oh Charlie. Do you remember Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles? Jake was one of the first boys my heart Teen Beated for, and he will always hold a special place there. Well, Charlie reminded me of him. When the basketball team finds out Charlie's dad is out of town and decide to invite half the school over to his place, Nate finds Charlie hiding under his bed reading a book. Nate tells him, "You really are the worst cool kid ever." Also, since this is a graphic novel, we don't just have to imagine Charlie shirtless. Ahem, shoulders.

Before you think this is just about the popular kids, remember that Prudence Shen wrote this book. In her /report bio, it says:
"She has written, much to her chagrin, hundreds of thousands of pages of bad-to-slightly-less-bad fanfic in everything from anime to Smallville to shows that lasted three episodes to children's books."
The nerd voice is well represented. And it's not just nerd boys. Joanna is a key member of the robotics team. I love that one added touch to the KILLER ROBOT is a little, stenciled bow.

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong combines a fun story with clever illustrations, or maybe it's a clever story with fun illustrations. The result is a book that will appeal to even those who don't consider themselves graphic novel fans. I think this was even better than Friends with Boys, and I can't wait to see what Faith Erin Hicks and Prudence Shen come up with next.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

*Okay, so they're not technically killer robots in the Michael Bay sense. But really, do you want to live in a world where Michael Bay makes sense?
**Quinto/Pine Challenge: To use one of the words that made Chris Pine's head hurt.
***Confession: I've only listened to the episode about Korean dramas. But it was hilarious.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

We've just installed Disqus for comments. If you see this message, it means that Disqus has not loaded properly. BADLY DONE, DISQUS. You can either try refreshing the page to get to the Disqus thread or leave a comment here.