Book Review - Goth Girl Rising by Barry Lyga

Wednesday November 4, 2009

Goth Girl Rising
by Barry Lyga
Available Now!
Time is a funny thing in the hospital. In the mental ward. You lose track of it easily.

After six months in the Maryland Mental Health Unit, Kyra Sellers, a.k.a. Goth Girl, is going home. Unfortunately, she's about to find out that while she was away, she lost track of more than time. Kyra is back in black, feeling good, and ready to make up with the only person who's ever appreciated her for who she really is. But then she sees him. Fanboy. Transcended from everything he was into someone she barely recognizes. And the anger and memories come rushing back.

There's so much to do to people when you're angry. Kyra's about to get very busy.

Unfortunately I was never able to fit The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl into my reading schedule when it came out but when I received Goth Girl Rising in the mail a few months ago I was really excited! I definitely wanted to see what the hype was all about...

If you haven't read the first book,Fanboy and Goth Girl, I suggest you do but if not you won't be lost at all. The author does a great job of filling in the back story for the first time reader so that you can understand where Kyra (goth girl) is coming from.

First I want to say that when I went to GoodReads to copy the book summary I happen to catch a glimpse of a "one-star" review that I couldn't help but read. Note that at this point I had already formed my opinion of the book and I was reading this review simply out of curiosity because I am always fascinated by really bad reviews. I think this is because books, like art bring out emotions and I want to see how and why people reacted the way they did. Make sense?

Anyway, this person didn't agree with Kyra's voice because she felt that it was technically from a male point of view due to the fact that the author is a guy. This person used the example that Kyra was way too fixated on her boobs and the possibility that she could be a lesbian based on her feelings for her best friend. These points got me thinking....

Of course a conflicted teenage girl who is obviously smart, savvy and shrewd is going to look at things a little differently. I mean despite what you think people we do live in a male driven world! If anything Kyra is questioning this and is determined not to fall into the trap of using her physical assets (aka her big boobs) to get ahead or to get the attention of boys.

There is no doubt about it, Kyra is a complicated girl with a razor sharp attitude that gets her into more trouble than she would like. Not to mention the TON of baggage she is carrying around with her due to the death of her mom and the resulting slow destruction of her relationship with her dad. Yes, this is no light-weight read, there is a lot going on here.

Anyway, I know I brought up a lot of various points to this book but they are ones I thought were important. I really enjoyed the book and really felt for Kyra as she struggled through her journey of despair and enlightenment. Despite the painful issues in the story, there is some genuine funny dialogue and Kyra is a character most readers will respect and care for.

Strong writing+Great Story= Read it!

Situational drug use and sexual references make this best suited for 9th grade and above.


choco (In Which a Girl Reads) said...

Great Review--the cover for this book is really interesting. I'll have to check this out, I'm curious whether the girl-voice comes off right :)