Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga

Fanboy is a comic book geek with all his hopes and dreams set on getting Brian Michael Bendis to like the graphic novel he's writing. His comic books are the only bright spot in his life of constant bullying, until he makes a new friend: Kyra, the Goth Girl.

I was all set to call this book the best YA book I've read in months, maybe even the best literary/realistic YA book I've EVER read. It's gritty and dark, but still funny and totally believable. Fanboy is a likeable hero and easy to identify with, and his graphic novel idea is amazing, I wish somebody would actually write it. The writing was in first person present tense, which is usually annoying but in this case made everything seem very immediate and intene. The thrills were that special kind of dread and hope mixed together, "Is what I think is going to happen really going to happen?" Sometimes it did, sometimes it didn't.

But then I got to the end of the book, or the lack of one. The big finish was about 20 pages before it should've been, just before the big breath out that leaves the reader feeling satisfied and ties up the events of the novel. There was no "ending," it just ended. Things that were heavily foreshadowed, like Goth Girl's violent desires, the bullet, and the third thing that Fanboy wants (essential to his character), are all totally abandoned. We have no climax, and no explanation. Goth Girl was left a total mystery, we have no idea why she did anything or even HOW she did the things we saw. We don't know her, and personally, I didn't really care. I wanted to identify with her, but I just wished she'd get over whatever her issues were (we don't even know that) so we could go do something else. There's no resolution between her and Fanboy, just a sappy "I think it'll all be okay eventually" from him, with no indication that this is the case.

Obviously, I'm annoyed. The build up was so amazing, and then this pointless drivel of an ending. If anyone has any theories I'd love to hear them. There is a sequel coming out this fall, Goth Girl Rising... Hopefully she'll be more sympathetic and the book will anwer enough questions to offset this book. I don't know if I recommend this or not, really... Maybe somebody else would be more satisfied. I definitely was not.

Some similar books that I'll be reading soon are Adventures of the Blue Avenger and Suck It Up, but I haven't read either one yet.

Buy The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl

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