Sunday, April 24, 2011

The New York Four by Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly

Riley has always been shy and kept to herself.  Now that she's in school at NYU, she's meeting new friends and is back in touch with her sister who she hasn't seen or spoken to in years.  She also develops an online crush.  As her online relationship intensifies, Riley pays less and less attention to her friends, who plan to get an apartment together and to her school work.  When Riley's crush reveals himself, everything begins to unravel.

So I think I made this sound like an online stalker warning book, which it's not at all.  Because Riley's really shy, she's always on her Smartphone texting and IMing with her online friends.  When she gets to school and finds a group friends (who we learn a little about, but most of the focus is on Riley) she needs her online world less.  After a night at a club, she finds an email address in her pocket and starts exchanging messages with "sneakerfreak."  They have lots in common and Riley is very happy, but reluctant to meet him in person.

Meanwhile, Riley's relationship with her sister, Angie, grows.  She hasn't seen her sister since Angie was thrown out by her parents, apparently for dropping out of school to be with some guy. 


It turns out Riley's perfect guy is, in fact, her sister's boyfriend.  And he kisses her, and of course Angie comes up the stairs, and in a horrible unfair moment, Angie blames it all on Riley and pretty much says that Frank can't help himself.  Ew.  And now Angie doesn't want to talk to Riley any more.  Riley is a mess, but takes comfort in her three fabulous friends and their new apartment.

The first volume ends with Frank texting Riley again on New Year's Eve.

There is a second volume, The New York Five, which I haven't read yet, but I assume continues Riley's story and hopefully we'll get some more about her friends, who we only got tastes of but where really interesting.

I enjoyed the art, which was all black and white.  We also get some diversity.  Of Riley's three friends, Merissa Vasquez is Latina and Lona Lo is Asian.  Riley's third friend, Ren Severin is an arty girl with piercings and a skateboard.  Everyone look different, and they all looked like real girls.

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