Second Look: MY BOYFRIEND IS A MONSTER (series) by various authors

I have been LOVING the My Boyfriend is a Monster graphic novel series, and positively can’t get enough of them. Being a bit over 100 pages, I can tear through one in about 40 minutes and totally feel like I accomplished something! But there’s a lot of fun in these pages, too.

Each book is it’s own independent, stand-alone story, and each is by a different author and illustrator. All the stories feature a different young lady who has fallen for someone who is, well… to put it bluntly, a monster of some kind.

So let’s break them down book by book, shall we?

Book 1: I Love Him to Pieces by Evonne Tsang, illustrated by Janina Gorrissen

I love him to piecesDicey is a star jock and Jack is a star nerd. When they’re assigned as partners for a class projects, some exciting things start to develop between the two of them. Unfortunately for them, an outbreak of a highly infectious disease breaks out that causes people’s brains to melt down and hunger for human flesh. Will a town full of flesh gobbling zombies get in the way of their budding romance? And can brainiac Jack and his doctor parents find a cure before the disease infects everybody? 

This was a great introduction to the series. The romance is cute but not overwhelmingly sickening. And speaking of not being sickening, the violence and gore is pretty tame for a graphic novel about brain eating zombies. All the books feature black and white illustrations, so the drawings aren’t too gory. So while there is blood and brain eating, it’s from a distance and not terribly disgusting and in your face. This is probably my favorite of the four I’ve read. OFFICIAL RATING: 8/10

Book 2: Made for Each Other by Paul D. Storrie, illustrated by Eldon Cowgur

Made for Each OtherMaria and Tom met by chance (and a hard collision) in the hallway at school. Immediately it was like lighting struck and the two were instantly smitten. There are two problems, though. One is Tom’s father, the town’s new funeral director. The second is the dead bodies that keep appearing all over town. As Tom reveals his secret to Maria, it becomes more and more clear that Tom’s father and his assistant, Dr. Graves, don’t want Maria around. Are they somehow connected to the missing bodies? 

While I enjoyed book 2 of the series, I didn’t like it quite as much as the first. While still a fun read, the story was a little more shallow than that of the first book. I didn’t like that there was no suspenseful buildup to the big reveal (Maria accidentally stumbles into Tom’s father’s lab, and when Tom catches her, he merely says, “here, let me show you EVERYTHING that I’m into…” Really?) I still had a good time with this one, though, despite my pet peeve. Maria’s friends are great and stick by her, and Tom is a good guy at his core. The details in the illustrations are very striking and, though there’s a lot going on, it never feels cluttered or overwhelming. OFFICIAL RATING: 7/10

Book 3: My Boyfriend Bites by Dan Jolley, illustrated by Alitha E. Martinez

{79DF9A32-A3AB-4C38-9543-092DFC6D2938}Img400Vanessa doesn’t know what to do with her life. So instead of figuring it out, she tries to fix everyone else’s life. Every guy is a new project. Until she meets one she doesn’t quite know what to do with. She meets Jean-Paul McClellan by accident and the two are immediately attracted. Vanessa gets suspicious, however, when Jean-Paul displays some serious feats of strength on their first date… such as holding up an elevator car to stop it from crushing her to death. When she follows him home and sees him drinking blood, she learns some things that may turn her life in a completely new direction. 

I know I said that book 1 was my favorite of the series, but this is a very close second. Jean-Paul is (dare I say) swoony and my favorite of all the monsters in the series so far. He’s Vanessa’s knight in shining armor and an all around likable guy (besides the whole potential vampire thing). The humor in this installment is very quirky and I even laughed out loud a time or two. The reasoning behind everything is a little hard to swallow (even for a vampire story), but it’s still all in fun. The style of artwork in this book is my favorite so far, as well. OFFICIAL RATING: 8/10

Book 4: Under His Spell by Marie P. Croall, illustrated by Hyeondo Park Alitha E. Martinez

Under His SpellTaken from dust jacket: Bethany Farmer’s life is a boring high school routine, and she likes it that way. Soccer, coffee, homework, more coffee, and no goofy romance. That is, until foreign exchange student Allein Atwood shows up in her Midwestern town, and her life turns epically weird. Allein has unearthly good looks, princely politeness, and a bunch of goofy, romantic pick-up lines. But is his country really so foreign that they don’t know anything about soccer? Or coffee? To her horror, Bethany is swept off her feet by Allein’s spellbinding ways–and then knocked flat by savage creatures set loose into suburbia to hunt Allein down. Suddenly Bethany’s normal town is twisted upside down, and nothing is what it seems. Can Bethany rescue her prince of a boyfriend and keep them both alive long enough to go on a second date?

Normally I wouldn’t post a review of a book I haven’t read, but after getting about 20 pages in, I couldn’t even continue with book 4. The style of artwork was very different from previous installments, which was a major buzzkill for me. Instead of being graphic novel style, they almost seemed like simple line drawings, which made them very visually unappealing. Most of the characters looked alike and I couldn’t even tell them apart. The story didn’t suck me in as much as the first three books did either. While I can’t speak for the rest of the story (as I didn’t finish it) I really wasn’t thrilled with this one, and don’t have any real desire to try again.  OFFICIAL RATING: 4/10

CONCLUSION

On the whole, I really, REALLY like this series. The artwork tell the stories in a striking visual fashion without being to graphically disturbing or gory, which is an exceptional feat given the subject matter of the books. It’s also very interesting to see how the writers give classic monster stories modern twists to incorporate them into a contemporary horror story (books 2 and 3 are perfect examples of this, but I refuse to give it away. As you know, I’m not one to give spoilers). A romance is present in all the books, but it’s not sickeningly sweet. It’s more cutesy than lusty, which could make these a good choice even for middle grade readers who are into graphic novels.

While they can be hit or miss depending on the author and illustrator, they are fun, quick, and simple stories to get lost in for a little while. I can’t wait to read the remaining books in the series. Reviews for the next four coming soon!

OFFICIAL SERIES RATING: 8/10

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