Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy & Goth Girl by Barry Lyga

Pages: 320
Published: September 6th 2006 by Houghton Mifflin

From Goodreads:
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.


"Goth Girl" has some damage to her sanity. "Fanboy" is a bit self-absorbed. From the very first page I was hooked! No kidding. I'll even tell you the line(s) that got to me: "When my parents got divorced, my mom got custody of me, and I got custody of the old Pentium clone that used to sit in the den at our old house. Thanks to the very best in Microsoft/Intel engineering, it crashes every time you exhale too hard in its general vicinity." It was on the first page, no lie; and it was the second sentence that got me but wouldn't make sense without the first.
Schemata. Hate. Expectations, good and bad. "Fanboy" loves comics--excuse me, graph novels. Hence the immediate input to the geek category at school, not mentioning the ridicule, of course. The List is only worthy of the names that get there--the people that intentionally do the effective, purposeless shoving, pushing. He safety bullet keeps him calm, even if it may make others freak.
After repeated hits from a dweeb who had been no trouble till then, "Fanboy" finds that he is no longer being ignored. But, exactly what crowd did he attract? Cue "Goth Girl", Kyra. Knocked-up sister, dead mother, ignorant father, and supplying different cars from the family for every ride home. Any of it true?
Random hits bought these two together, comics made it last longer, but in the end will "Fanboy" actually be the one saving "Goth Girl"? Both emotionally and physically? "Fanboy" doesn't keep up his ignorance facade for long, there was never a reason to in the first place.
Recommended heavily for its humor and cheekiness.

Grade: B+