The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga

Fanboy is not a fan of many things. He is not a fan of high school, Jerk Jocks, his Step-Fascist (Step-Father), his soon to be born half-sister, his social status, or gym. He IS a fan of comics, his only friend Cal, Senior Goddess Dina Jurgens, Michael Bendis (a famous comic book writer/artist), education, and getting the hell out of his hick town. He has a plan. He's secretly been working on a graphic novel of his own, so secretly that he hasn't even told his best friend about it.

His friend Cal is the only thing that makes high school bearable. Cal is just as big of a comic book geek as he is, he's smart, funny. But there's a catch: he is also on the Lacrosse team. Cal isn't like those other Jerk Jocks.

Enter Goth Girl, aka Kyra, who befriends him after witnessing an especially humiliation moment in gym. She wears all black, and hides the scars on her wrists. She tells him that her mother died of lung cancer while she lights up a cigarette. She always picks him up in a different car, but being with her gives him confidence. He shows her his graphic novel Schemata, which he hasn't even shown to Cal.

The three have adventures that take them to a comic convention, through many fights, down into a basement, on treacherous driving sprees, to a party, and of course, on a bus.

Barry Lyga captures the essence of teen angst so well. The outcast with a basement full of comics may be the icon of geek, but that is only a background for Fanboy's other problems. His family situation makes it hard for him to make friends, and his ability to hold a grudge keeps him at a distance from a lot of people. Undoubtedly, Fanboy's life is far from ideal, but through this novel he learns that he might not be as different from all those people he thought he hated. Sometimes learning forgiveness, to forgive yourself and those who wronged you, is the path to growing up.

"But this isn't a movie or a book. And worst of all, I'm not a hero. So I just kneel next to her on the ground as her body shakes and jerks, as the tears run down her cheeks. I don't know what to say or do. I just want to touch her, to feel her, to know that she's real, that I'm real. To find the exact, precise right things to say that will make it all stop and make it all go forward," (Lyga 2006, pg 304).

*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
Goth Girl Rising by Barry Lyga (sequel to be released Oct. 19th)
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
Black Mirror by Nancy Werlin

Lyga, Barry. (2006). The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl. Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston, MA.

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