Thursday, December 07, 2006

"There are three things in this world that I want more than anything.

I'll tell you the first two, but I'll never tell you the third."
-first page of The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga (for a while i thought this might be the dedication page which left me elatedly confused because i love ambiguity~it is actually a rather important line from the book though i still really like it.)
Not that i've ever been a fifteen-year-old-boy but Lyga's narration seems to capture the essence and angst of that voice with absolute purity~and it is totally brimming with sarcasm (have i ever mentioned how fond i am of sarcasm?)
Fanboy is a fifteen-year-old genius nerd/geek (whatever the term of the day is) who is tormented by the jocks, popular kids, and seemingly everyone else (he keeps a list). He loves comic books {gosh those things seem to pop up everywhere, don't they?} an interest he shares (though in secret, seemingly) with the popular, "jockular" Cal (his one and only friend at South Brock High). He harbors secret fantasies of high-school hostage-take-overs and the obligatory "senior goddess" (Dina in his case).
Fanboy meets Kyra "Goth Girl" when she sends him emails letting him know she has witnessed his pummeling at the hands of one of the school bullies. He begins hanging out with her and they bond over their mutual hatred of the "way of the world" (though Fanboy begins to think maybe things are not so bad after all). He shares things with her he hasn't shared with anyone else (though he doesn't know why) like his ambition to be a comic book artist/author like his idol, (Brian Michael) Bendis. After she begs to see Fanboy's work he shows it to her and she encourages him in his plan to show it to Bendis at an upcoming comic book convention.
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl is a wonderful book, without the typical moralistic overtone. It is Lyga's first, but it definitely doesn't feel like it. Lyga is a skilled wordsmith, an artist. He touched upon my life in ways i have never lived (i can't describe it well, but Lyga probably could).
In the words of the woman who recommended it to me: "It's really funny." (though that doesn't express, the drama, the trauma, and the seriousness of the issues the book deals with~she failed to add a few minor details). As this is a YA novel there are a few parents who might not love it, though i believe most teens would. Though lessons are learned it does not have a moralistic tone~and all is not hip hop happily solved in that non-realistic sitcommie way~it's like life... COOL
and speaking of...
this book includes one of the best descriptions of a migraine attack i have read in quite some time.

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