The New York Four, by Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly. New York: Minx, 2008. 151 pp. ISBN 9781401211547
Riley has just arrived at NYU to start her new life...what does the future hold?
"The ultimate insider's guide to New York City is presented through the eyes of Brooklyn-born Riley, who is starting her freshman year at NYU and is about to find out what an adventure--and a mystery--living in the Big Apple can be." (Syndetic Solutions, Inc. summary)
This is a light-hearted story about four friends, all freshman at NYU. The protagonist is likeable yet somewhat self-absorbed Riley, a shy young woman who is learning to break out of her shell. She finds jobs for herself and her friends which require them to attend biweekly therapy sessions, a creative way for this novel's authors to let us in on each girl's private thoughts and preoccupations. The black and white illustrations are very stylized, yet they convey character's emotions effectively. Riley's character is fairly believable, yet we don't learn enough about the other characters to know them more than superficially. Overall, this is an enjoyable story about the difficulties of balancing school, work, friendship, and love, and also about the happiness one can find when one takes a chance. Potentially controversial elements: graphic novel format, underage drinking.
HOW THIS BOOK HELPS
This book could help teens who are just starting college or life in a new city themselves, or who are dealing with family conflicts.
WHY I CHOSE TO READ IT
My New York City obsession struck again!