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Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong Paperback – May 7 2013
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“Smart and funny; don't miss this one.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“This story has everything: basketball, dastardly cheerleaders, a robot rumble, conniving geeks, a house party, family drama, student body council elections, and a tiny sliver of romance.” ―Booklist, starred review
“I love Hicks' artwork and I'm excited to see what new author Shen has in store. ” ―Wired.com GEEKDAD blog
“Sounds like my kind of thing!” ―Cory Doctorow, BOINGBOING.com
“The very first strip is a grabber.” ―Heidi MacDonald, THE BEAT.com
“This lightweight romp could be just the ticket for latecomers to comics and GNs.” ―BCCB
About the Author
Prudence Shen is a writer and caffeine addict who pays rent in New York even though she mostly lives in airports. Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong is her first book. She loves robots. Not like that.
Faith Erin Hicks is a writer and artist in Halifax, Canada. Her first two graphic novels, Zombies Calling and The War at Ellsmere, were published by SLG Publishing. She has illustrated First Second's Brain Camp and wrote and illustrated 2012's Friends With Boys, a coming of age story with supernatural elements and a musical about zombies. Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong is her most recent graphic novel.
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Top Customer Reviews
Not that I had any doubt at all.
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong is the wonderful graphic novel written by first time author Prudence Shen and veteran artist Faith Erin Hicks and it is filled with fun and drama and politics and family messiness.
Charlie and Nate are forever best friends and neighbours now in high school. Charlie is the quieter one, athletic, and living with an absentee mother and a father always away. Nate is loud and high strung and almost completely obsessed with his life, and, of course, robotics.
We start with Nate giving Charlie a lift to school and getting updated on their respective lives. Charlie has just been dumped by text by his cheerleader girlfriend. Nate is freaking mad because a funding argument is going on about where school funds should go: cheerleaders or robotics.
This leads to decisions being made over who should run, even unwillingly, in the elections for student council. Various factions emerge and dirty tricks and a smear campaign spiral outwards, causing real stress between the friends.
But Prudence and Hicks hits us with a very logical plot twist, one that takes all the forces marshaled into a direction I did not anticipate. Leading to an ending which is a real blast with broad impact on all.
One of the absolute charms of Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong is the characters.
Charlie is living a troubled internal life and the only one who notices is Nate. His parents define self absorbed and can be very infuriating almost every step of the way. If not for Nate, you seriously wonder how Charlie would get through the days.
Nate is all mouth and action and very little thought.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Well, "kill them" is a little strong. But that's not to say she won't be the death of them. The same day she breaks up with Charles (via text), Nate reveals that school funding isn't enough to be divvied up between two important things: new cheerleader uniforms or money for the upcoming robotics competition (which, naturally, Nate and his team want to win).
Nate hatches a plan to run for student council president so he can divert the money into his robotics, but Holly is not one to sit idly by while that happens. She has her own devious scheme.
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, the debut from writer Prudence Shen (teaming with the always excellent Faith Erin Hicks on art), is funny and quick witted. The real story, of course, centers not so much on the high school politics but more on the inner conflict of Charles as he deals with an absent mother (she's moved to San Diego and gotten engaged to a man Charles has never met) and a distant father who thinks everything can be solved by a camping trip (it can't). Shen wisely eases into that storyline and gives it time and space to evolve.
Nothing wraps up tidily or conveniently (such is life, of course), but resolutions to get reached in small ways. Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong looks like a standard YA graphic novel, and it seems to be one at the beginning, but the story charmingly disarms the reader as it moves along...and suddenly you realize you're reading something unexpected. It's a pleasant surprise.
-- John Hogan
(First Second Books, 2013)
In this entertaining manga-style graphic novel, mortal enemies combine forces as a band of high school uber-nerds are thrown together with the Heather-delic cheerleading squad after school funding falls through for both groups' pet projects, and the only solution appears to be entering the bug-like battle-bot build by the nerds into a national competition with a big cash prize. The book is filled with engaging and pleasantly flawed characters, whose personal quirks add to the spice of the story. The book flies along at a fast, engaging pace and the manga-style art is well-suited to capture the tang of a competitive robot battle.
Although this story is set in a high-school setting, it has little of the darkness or sordid tone of many modern "young adult" novels and is safe for a wide range of ages, with no explicit sex and little objectionable language. Indeed, the problems confronted by the characters are about as disturbing (and as amusing) as you average episode of PBS's "Arthur," and I gave it to my nine-year old to read with little concern that it would damage her psyche. She loved it, and I'm hopeful that it will help foster her interest in science. Recommended! (DJ Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain childrens' book reviews)
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