Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Boyfriend Is A Monster

The new graphic novel series, My Boyfriend Is A Monster, explores teen relationships under the most trying circumstances: zombie invasions and monster attacks.

I Love Him to Pieces pairs up athletic Dicey Bell and budding scientist Jack Chen to co-parent an egg for health class. Their paths would not have normally crossed, but they find that they really enjoy each other. Jack's scientist parents are often travelling, and Dicey's exuberance fills the void in his life. Unfortunately, there is a zombie outbreak on their first date and Jack is bitten, causing them to spend the rest of the book trying to survive while searching for a cure.

I Love Him to Pieces is pure fun. Without feeling didactic, author Evonne Tsang presents the reader with protagonists who are fully realized and contrary to stereotypes. I always enjoy a story with an Asian male love interest, and the scene when Dicey ogles Jack mowing the lawn shirtless is particularly endearing.

With engrossing illustrations (Dicey's expressions are really sweet) and a plotline that ties up neatly, I recommend adding this quick read to your library.

I did not connect as much with the second book in the series, Made for Each Other. Paul D. Storrie's entry to the series is confusing and not nearly as charming.

Centered around Maria McBride, a shy orphan violinist, and the burly new student Tom B. Stone (yep), this strange take on Frankenstein lacks the quirky romance of the first book. Neither Maria nor Tom is a likable character, so when they fall for each other for no reason, the reader is not intrigued to learn more.

While any book in a series about monster boyfriends is expected to be campy, there are too many plot holes in Made for Each Other. I might use it as an example of "telling not showing" in writing; Storrie deliberately points out the humor in character names like Hedy Stone, rendering them unfunny and flat.

Skip this second entry to the series and check out books three and four; clearly the quality of the books varies greatly.

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