Illustrated by Chris Shehan
Best friends Kenny and Ted live in a small town in Ohio in the 1980s. Ted plays on the baseball team, and Kenny is trying to hide the fact that he's gay and has a crush on his best friend. One day, they find an advertisement for wish-granting glasses in the back of an old comicbook. They think nothing more of it until the specs arrive, un-summoned. When they decide to use a wish to make the town bully disappear, they start down a dark path of wishes as they try to fix their mistake, and as Kenny tries to make life better for himself and Ted. Rarely does any wish turn out without unintended consequences, so Kenny descends into an out-of-control spiral of wishes and ramifications.
Once the wish-train starts, it barrels forward at an alarming pace. This book overall is extremely fast, and the character development suffers a little bit for it. The town bully is pretty stereotypical and gone pretty quickly. I also wish we had more time with Kenny and Ted and seeing how the wishes really played out throughout town and in their lives. Instead, Kenny is quick to jump to the next wish, which sends the story forward. Even with this frenetic energy, Kenny's plight is palpable as he tries to get things back under control but also not lose his best friend. If this story had one or two more chapters, it would have had time to develop to its full potential. However, Booher does give us a healthy dose of 80s and horror vibes, so this might be a good recommendation for readers who are into Stranger Things.
Shehan is currently known for his work on another horror comic, House of Slaughter, so expect some detailed, scary scenes. His color palette throughout leaned a little towards sepias, which set the tone for the images being from Kenny's memory. It felt a bit like watching an older film, like E.T. or Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
This story is best suited to older readers because of some pretty gruesome illustrations, cussing, and other horror elements.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Publication Date: August 22, 2023
ISBN: 9781684159185 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Horror, Friendship, Magic, LGBTQ+, BOOM! Studios
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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