The New York Four

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up

Riley enters into a standardized test beta with three NYU classmates in order to make some money to get an apartment together. A good student with limited social skills due to her controlling, academic parents, the teen relies heavily on online interactions. As she begins to get to know her classmates and to reconnect with her outcast older sister, a secret virtual relationship threatens to destabilize everything. Wood is known for incorporating a strong sense of place into his comic work, and, while this is a story about growing up and learning to communicate, the classic bohemian fixtures of clubs and brownstones, and the inclusion of New York City landmarks, help make the book feel grounded. Kelly's energetic artwork conveys a sense of activity and movement. His portrayal of one character, Merissa, tends toward caricature more than the others, and panels are occasionally too busy to find the focus of the scene easily, but the detailed settings are nicely evocative. Wood tries to do too much, resulting in a scattered set-up of Riley's classmates' individual stories-glimpses of what are surely the main focuses of future volumes-leaving readers with what is disappointingly not quite an entire story, but one that is superbly told.-Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH

Kirkus Reviews
An aloof college freshman learns about life in this subdued tale of post-adolescent angst. Riley, a pretty girl who prefers text to people, struggles to adjust as she begins college. Rekindling a relationship with her estranged sister Angie, Riley takes social cues from her and her coquettish boyfriend, Frank. Riley also befriends a diverse-albeit formulaic-group of girls: Merissa, a fiery siren; Ren, a laid-back tomboy; and Lona, an enigmatic, structured girl. The four forge an unlikely friendship and deal with many of the hardships typical to college life: securing jobs, finding apartments and dating. Drawn with a heavy, fluid line, Kelly's art is the perfect complement to the urban hipster melodrama. An excellent premise falls somewhat flat on character development, however: Riley, the most developed character, leaves her counterparts slightly lagging and less fleshed-out in comparison. A cliffhanger offers hints at a possible sequel. A natural transition for maturing readers of The P.L.A.I.N. Janes and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. (Graphic fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401211547
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Publication date: 7/22/2008
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,003,446
  • Age range: 12 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Multiple Eisner Award-nominee Brian Wood released his first series, Channel Zero, to considerable critical acclaim in 1997 and has gone on to create hard-hitting original series such as DMZ, Northlanders, The Couriers, and The Massive. Adding to that body of work, he's also written some of the biggest titles in pop culture, with work on Star Wars, Conan The Barbarian, Lord Of The Rings, and The X-Men. Brian lives with his wife and two children in Brooklyn, NY. The author lives in NY, NY.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Teen Story

    Brian Wood know how to write real people and this book shows it. His teen drama feels real not fake or melodramatic. Ryan Kelly's art feels like someone who actually lived in New York not like some touris. The art style is also right for the fast pace of New York. If you want realistic teen drama get this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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