The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, by Barry Lyga

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl

Fanboy, and unnamed fifteen year old comic book geek, is just trying to make his way through high school unnoticed. His only passion in life is for comic books, both reading them and creating his own. His magnum opus is Schemata, a complicated and time-consuming graphic novel. At school he has one friend, Cal, who is a popular jock and cannot be seen talking to Fanboy regularly. So Fanboy walks through the halls anonymously, occasionally getting beat-up or verbally abused, and having violent day-dreams about the people who are on “The List.” One day he is contacted by Kyra, Goth Girl. Another social outcast at their high school, Kyra is a troubled teenager who lies compulsively and steals cars for joyrides, and is later found to be suffering from depression. However, she is the only person who helps Fanboy break through his self-imposed isolation. Their complex relationship leads Fanboy to finally stand up for himself.

Fanboy is a tough narrator, but one who will doubtless have great appeal to many teenage boys who can directly relate to his situation. He has constructed an image for himself that he must break out of in order to make any connections with other people, and the process of breaking out of that constructed self is not an easy one. In Fanboy’s relationships with Kyra, Cal, and his family, he is often hurtful and even cruel. However, his unhappiness in school and his home, his dedication to Schemata, and his intense insecurity keep the reader on his side.

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