Feb 23, 2010

Review | The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga

Is this my hidden Mutant Power--The ability to screw up absolutely any decent situation?
Fanboy has never had it good, but lately his sophomore year is turning out to be its own special hell. The bullies have made him their favourite target., his best (and only) friend seems headed for the dark side (sports and popularity), and his pregnant mother and the step-fascist are eagerly awaiting the birth of the alien life form known as Fanboy's new little brother or sister.
 Fanboy, though, has a secret: a graphic novel he's been working on without telling anyone, a graphic novel that he is convinced will lead to publication, fame, and--most important of all--a way out of the crappy little town he lives in and away from all the people who make it hell for him. When fanboy meets Kyra, a.k.a. Goth Girl, he finds an outrageous, cynical girl who shares his love of comics as well as his hatred for jocks and bullies. Fanboy can't resist someone who actually seems to understand him, and soon he finds himself willing to heed her advice--to ignore or crush anyone who stand in his way. But Kyra has secrets, too. And they could lead Fanboy to his dreams...or down a path into his own darkness.

Thoughts: I really had no idea what this book was about and really just picked it up because it was the only Young Adult book there was in audio format at the library I was at that day. The voice Lyga gives Fanboy was what captured my attention from the beginning. Fanboy, whose real name I was never really sure of, is in that awkward age of fifteen, a nerd who is smarter than everyone else, loves comics and has only one real friend on most days. He is clueless about girls, gets bullied by older and bigger guys from school, and believes he has a way out of the suburban hell he is living in. A typical teenager with real problems, like dealing with his parents divorce and trying to fit in, Lyga was able to capture the misery, anxiety and confusion that teenagers usually go through in those tough years.

I instantly loved Fanboy and was able to understand what he felt like when he isolated himself from his family and most other people like many teenagers do. I enjoyed seeing high school through his eyes, and watching him struggle in his everyday life, while trying to figure things out. When he meets Goth Girl, they bond instantly…sort of. She is emotionally damaged and packed with an attitude that questions everything and has many issues of her own. Their love for comic books and hatred of jocks and popular students brings them together and takes an interesting turn later in the book as a few twists change the Fanboy’s journey through life.

The one thing I disliked was the abrupt ending. It sort of left us hanging there. And yet, I have to admit it kind of fit the entire book. It was a completely believable ending, one you would expect but I couldn’t help but want to know more afterwards. It was missing that sense of resolution and that made me a bit sad to see the book end.

This book was real, funny, dorky and also quite dark at certain points. The ending was its only weak point but there is another book, Goth Girl Rising, which hopefully gives us a satisfying ending that I was hoping for as it continues Kyra’s story.

Favorite Line(s):
"There are three things in this world that I want more than anything. I'll tell you the first two, but I'll never tell you the third."

"I want to not ride the bus to school every day, but that would be a waste of a really big want--it'll take care of itself eventually."

1 comment

  1. Interesting... I haven't heard of this one and I'm not sure its one I'd really be into but thanks for the heads up =]