Barry Lyga : The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl

Lyga’s descriptions of what it’s like to be an unpopular, un-sporty, picked-on high school sophomore match so many specific details of my own memories that it’s uncanny. Big ugly bruises on the arm where punches land every day? Check. Lurid homicidal revenge fantasies? Check. Narrator Donnie has an escape hatch, though: he’s secretly working on a graphic novel, and he’s convinced that if he can just show it to his idol, fan-favorite writer/artist Brian Michael Bendis, he’ll get a take-me-away-from-all-this publishing deal. He falls into a complicated friendship with fellow misfit and titular goth girl Kyra, who may not have as positive a getaway plan.

It wasn’t quite perfect. I strongly suspect a dose of roman à clef, which means in part that while most details are contemporary, a few jangly notes seem to belong to an earlier decade. More significantly, Donnie is maybe a little too oblivious to some of the clues he’s thrown (God knows teen boys can be plenty clueless, but the reader may get impatient waiting for him to put pieces together). But overall I liked this very much. Lyga consistently avoids obvious, pat plot choices, and I found his characters believable and emotionally compelling.

needs more demons? No. and I will absolutely, positively read more from Lyga.

Published by therealsummervillain

likes: equality, making things easier to use, biking, jangle, distortion, monogamy dislikes: bigotry, policies that jeopardize people, lack of transparency

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