Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Astonishing Adventures of Fan Boy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga (4/5 stars)

I have been wanting to read this book for a while. When I got "Goth Girl Rising" through the Amazon Vine program; I decided that that was the perfect excuse to go ahead and buy this book. It was a very good book. I enjoyed it and had trouble putting it down.

Fanboy is having a rough year. His mom is pregnant with his step-dad's kid, his step-dad doesn't understand him, he only has one friend, and everyone at school picks on him. There is one thing that he lives for and that is a graphic novel he is working on called Schemata. He meets Goth Girl, aka Kyra, and in her finds a kindred comic book spirit. Kyra has troubles of her own though.

This was a great book. I loved the comic book references. Mainly this book is about finding your place in life and becoming who you want to be, never-mind what the rest of the world thinks about that. This book accurately catches the feelings and troubles of high school; with real characters that you are rooting for and really like. Fanboy challenges the American perception that being smart is uncool and being a hard headed jock is awesome. He also deals with how smart jocks moderate their behavior to fit in with both types of high school crowds.

I liked Fanboy and thought he was a believable and interesting character. As Fanboy tries to get his graphic novel noticed you are holding your breath and waiting for what will happen next. Goth girl came off as a bit annoying and brash; but I think that was the point. The plot was well done; my only complaint would be the open ending. I guess the ending was a bit too "real life" for me; that is we don't really know what happens with anything. I am hoping some of that is resolved in "Goth Girl Rising".

A great book all around. This should appeal to a large audience; especially young adults or people who want to re-visit high school trauma. Comic book geeks or smart people in general will find a lot to relate with in Fanboy.

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