Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks

16002011Summary (from

You wouldn’t expect Nate and Charlie to be friends. Charlie’s the laid-back captain of the basketball team, and Nate is the neurotic, scheming president of the robotics club. But they are friends, however unlikely—until Nate declares war on the cheerleaders. At stake is funding that will either cover a robotics competition or new cheerleading uniforms—but not both.

It’s only going to get worse: after both parties are stripped of their funding on grounds of abominable misbehavior, Nate enrolls the club’s robot in a battlebot competition in a desperate bid for prize money. Bad sportsmanship? Sure. Chainsaws? Why not. Running away from home on Thanksgiving to illicitly enter a televised robot death match? Of course!

In Faith Erin Hicks’ and Prudence Shen’s world of high school class warfare and robot death matches, Nothing can possibly go wrong.


STOP. THE. PRESSES. The Royal We actually read a YA book that wasn’t required reading for book club or freelance work?! It’s only the, um, second time I’ve done that this year (first was the lovely Pinned by Sharon G. Flake in February), mostly because I’ve been following my reading bliss and indulging in some serious escapism with romance novels. And after finishing Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, I’m wondering why I don’t read teen books for funsies more often. Graphic novels, especially!

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong is my favorite kind of funny book. The basic plot is implausible in a teen movie way (war between nerds and cheerleaders! robot death matches!), but it balances the silliness with realistic characters. Charlie’s absent mom is getting remarried and his dad travels a lot for work, so he starts to crack under the added pressure of the election shenanigans and ensuing chaos. The other characters–neurotic Nate, nerdy Johanna, scheming cheerleader Holly–can be a little over-the-top in everything but their relationships with Charlie.

This is my first time reading a graphic novel illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks and I really, really like her art style. Her visuals have the timing of a great comedian; she knows exactly how to arrange her images for maximum hilarity. I loved that the characters didn’t have overly stylized appearances. The cheerleaders looked like the cheerleaders I went to high school with, unlike a lot of actresses who play cheerleaders in movies but look like supermodels. I’m planning to pick up Friends with Boys ASAP for more FEH goodness.

In summary: highly recommended. Also, I desperately want Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong to be optioned by an indie film company and made into a snarky teen movie. It would be amazing on screen.

Rating (Quality): 4/5 stars

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One Response to Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks

  1. Maureen E says:

    Yes! I started reading just at the end of the serialized run (in the last month or so) and holy cow, the awesome. The art is great, and the story is also amazingly fun. I didn’t love Friends with Boys quite so much, but I think it’s partly because Prudence Shen’s plot is great. A movie would be fun, but I really want a sequel. And more Joanna/Charlie.

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