So I’m writing about them! They both also feature boys who alternate between being pretty cool and unbearably nerdy, some sharp tongued and sharp witted ladies, and various forms of darkness.
So Hold Me Close, Necromancer by Lish McBride deals with dark darkness, like dead darkness, like Night of the Living Dead darkness. You have heard right ladies and gentlemen, this is another book that involves, in a very vague way, zombies. Or at least the ability to make corpses become zombies. See, Sam LaCroix has recently discovered that he is apparently a necromancer. He has also found out that this is making some pretty evil and powerful people mad. Well, one person really, whose name is Douglas and whose solution to this whole pesky problem is too eliminate Sam. Sam, as one can imagine, is not very happy with Douglas’ solution. He also has a few more problems on his hands, in the form of a stunningly gorgeous, yet completely wild werewolf, an undead friend (well, what’s left of her) and the mysterious case of the Zombie Panda.
This is Lish McBride’s first book, and man does she make an entrance! The dialogue is wonderful, the fight scenes well written, and the book pulls off scary and hilarious at the same time. You feel so connected to all her characters, and Lish makes a real effort to give dimension to even the smallest role. Ms. McBride also gets bonus points from this librarian for mentioning real bands in the book. There is no vague, “Then she put on her favorite CD and he heard it playing, so they both talked about how much they loved the band that was playing” nonsense. Between Rolling Stones, Get Up Kids, Paul Simon and Alkaline Trio, there are enough bands name dropped for you to make a killer playlist. It is just one more feature that totally brings you into Sam’s world and cements it to a reality you know.
This next book, while not new, is new to our library, and deals with your basic familial issues in a new and comic oriented way. The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga follows the trials and tribulations of two outsiders trying to exist in the world of high school. Fanboy is your eternal comic book geek, hoping that one day hjis graphic novel will be his ticket out of his small town life. Goth Girl is an outrageous girl who outwardly hates everything Fanboy seethes about on the inside. Together they make an unstoppable, though slightly odd, duo, trying to carve out a place for themselves in a world that seems to have no room for them. Goth Girl’s anger, however, may be too much for Fanboy to handle, especially when he starts finding a place for himself and leaving her behind. Will Goth Girl’s secret’s drag Fanboy down a path he is ill prepared to handle, or can he help her find her own place in a confusing world?
Barry Lyga is phenomenal. He is a force to be reckoned with in the Young Adult world and this book shows why. His portrayal of Goth Girl and Fanboy’s relationship is what makes this book such a powerful and moving force, it’s never contrived or hard to swallow. Lyga stays true to his characters and allows them to grow, progress and stumble in very natural ways. He also wrote a stunning sequel, Goth Girl Rising, which follows both characters further on their journey of self-discovery.
So what are you all waiting for? Run into the library, scoop up some Black and Red covers* and start reading!
*These aren’t the only Black and Red covers in the library. So if you end up reading The Eternal Ones by Kristen Miller instead, you cannot get mad at me. Besides, reincarnation and true love is almost the same as necromancers and comic book angst, right?