Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Goth Girl Rising
Barry Lyga

rating: 7.5 out of 10 "books"

The end of “The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl,” saw Goth Girl aka Kyra sent away after Fanboy alerted her father to some worrisome activity. Well, Kyra is back after missing the end of the school year, the summer, and the beginning of the new school year at her Maryland high school. After six months with no email from Fanboy, Kyra is a little upset but ready to make up with Fanboy. When she returns to school, she is surprised to find that much has changed since she’s been gone. Fanboy is popular! By publishing his graphic novel as a serial through the school newspaper, Fanboy has suddenly become the newest member of the high school upper class. Feeling abandoned, Goth Girl cooks up a plan to ruin his life.

Whereas “The Astonishing Adventures...” was from Fanboy’s point of view, “Goth Girl Rising” provides us with an opportunity to finally see into Kyra’s head. We never really got the back story of Goth Girl in Lyga’s first novel and I personally wanted to know the deal as to why Kyra was always so pissed off. This story was much heavier than the first as we come to find out that much of Kyra’s attitudes towards things stem from the death of her mother and the unhealthy way she dealt with it, as well as the grudge she continues to feel towards her father, whom she feels was the main cause of her mother’s death. It may be hard to imagine when reading the story, but Goth Girl was not always the bitter, angry, dark clothes wearing sixteen year old. Much of this story is about Kyra trying to find herself and feel comfortable in her own body. We see one display of this as Kyra takes much care to cover up and disguise her figure.

I got angry at both Goth Girl and Fanboy alike at times. I got angry at how Kyra reacted in many of the situations, especially at the fact that she was always so defensive and unable to see things right in front of her. She may have seemed confident in “The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl,” but in reality Goth Girl seems to suffer from self-esteem issues like any teen. She gets hurt by a lot of the things Fanboy does, and instead of facing them head and confronting him about them, she plots to continually destroy his life. Then again, it’s easy to sit back and yell at the way Kyra acts, but in reality, this is how many teenage girls act. Minus the destruction part of course. Fanboy on the other hand, seems to act more like your typical sex obsessed teenage boy in this novel. But it must be mentioned that we are viewing the story from Kyra’s point of view so it is to be expected at least a little. I still got pretty fired up with some of the stuff he did. This coming especially after reading Goth Girl’s thoughts and explanations of how boys just want girls for their looks and bodies, and how Goth Girl purposely covers herself up to ensure this objectification will not happen to her.

I really enjoyed this book and am glad Barry Lyga decided to write a sequel to Fanboy and Goth Girl. It was a nice way to finish off the story of Donnie and Kyra, even if you had to wait until the very end of the story to see anything happen between the two.

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