Monday 28 May 2012

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl - Barry Lyga

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl
Barry Lyga
Haughton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN 9780618723928

This book was the first novel published by Barry Lyga and it is the first of four in the Brookdale High series, which I just happened to read in reverse order. The strength of Lyga's writing is evident from this first novel and gets better with every book he writes. Lyga has an incredible gift as a storyteller. He captures life in and around high school in this series in a wonderful way. His stories are about real people with real problems and real life. Each of his books has something the reader can take away and it will help them be better at being. But I think the greatest testament to Lyga's craft as a writer is that even though I just finished this book, I am already planning to reread it.
Brookdale High or South Brook High is an interesting school. Not the worst school and not the best. There are cliques, and jocks, and geeks - all the usual groups you would find in and around a high school. And like most high schools, some of them get it and some do not. For Kyra Sellers and Fanboy (aka Donnie) it is just putting in time. Both want to be somewhere else. Both need things to change. Kyra witnesses Fanboy being punched repeatedly in gym class and wonders why he allows it to happen. Soon they have a strange friendship developing. They both have a love of Graphic Novels but prefer different styles. Fanboy is working on one and Goth Girl wants to help make it better. But as we all know, life in high school or life in general is usually not easy and things often go wrong or at least not the way we expect, and in this story that is definitely the case.There are a number of strengths that make this novel so good. First, there are the characters. Readers cannot help but become fans of Kyra and Fanboy; they are so well written and capture much of the spirit of being an outsider in high school you can't help but root for them. Second is the story itself. It has a sinister darkness to it, but at the same time provides some hope. It is not a fast-paced novel but it will definitely keep your attention and interest turning the pages. Third is the essence of both high school and life that Lyga has managed to capture. This was an amazing novel to read and after reading it I now plan to go back and reread the whole series!

Books by Barry Lyga:
I Hunt Killers:
I Hunt Killers (2012)
Game - I Hunt Killers #2 (2013)

Blood of My Blood - I Hunt Killers # 3 (2014)

I Hunt Killers Short Stories:
Down Time (2018)
Lucky Day (2014)
Career Day (2012)
Neutral Mask (2013)
Blood Boy (2014)

Brookdale High:
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl (2006)
Boy Toy (2007)
Hero Type (2008)
Goth Girl Rising (2009)

Bang (2017)

Archvillain #1 (2010)
The Mad Mask - Archvillian #2 (2011)
Yesterday Again - Archvillian #3 (2013)

The Flash Series:
Hocus Pocus (2017)
Johnny Quick (2018)
Tornado Twins (2018)

Other Books By Barry Lyga:
Graphic Novels in Your Media Center: A definitive Guide (with Alison A.W. Lyga - 2004)
Wolverine: Worst Day Ever (2009)
MangaMan (with Colleen Dorren 2011)

Unsoul'd (2013)
After The Red Rain (2015)
The Secret Sea (2016)
Thanos Titan Consumed (2018)
The Hive (2019)


Short Story Project 2017
The Ghosts at 95
Loving The University
The Ideas of March
Four Minutes
Pulse vs. the Killing Fiend
Her Decade
The Life Cycle of Stars (Ignition)
Trading Worlds
When I Die
The Autopsying of Michael Edward Morgan
Meet Me Tonight

Contributed to:
Geektastic (2009)
Who Done It? (2013)

Author Profile and Interview with Barry Lyga

Author Profile and Interview with Randall Banner

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