Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Goth Girl Rising, by Barry Lyga- Review

As I mentioned yesterday, I unequivocally fell in love with Kyra, otherwise known as Goth Girl.

Set six months after The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, Goth Girl Rising joins Kyra as she's wheeled out the door of a mental health unit, six months after being committed.  She feels good and is ready to face her life again, until she gets to school where she realises Fanboy has comitted the capital sin, he seems to have forgotten her, and appallingly- gotten popular!  So as her fantasies of how her come back was going to go down begins to crumble Kyra takes on her usual no nonsense, angsty outlook, and decides a healthy serving of revenge is in order.

Kyra is one of those spectacular characters who's both difficult and yet so true to herself, you can't dislike her, no matter how hard she tries.  She's almost Larry David like in her calling it as she see's it attitude, and she's about as popular for it as he is in Curb your Enthusiasm.  Yet some of her insights on sexuality and feminism are so impressive I was hard pressed to believe Barry Lyga came up with them without some serious help.  Yet he has always said he didn't do any particular consulting or research to write Kyra.  However he's done it, he's managed to grasp some facts about life as a teenage girl that I think is often lost on most teen girls themselves.

It was really refreshing to read a character like hers in YA, so unlike the pretty, flirty, boy crazy girls in so much young adult fiction these days.  Kyra has a depth that's unfortunately unusual, and I was both impressed and a little awed by her, not to mention completely enthralled by her story.  It's amazing someone so seemingly broken can be a hero in so many ways.

I also really loved that Lyga approached Goth Girl Rising from the opposite view point from The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl.  It was really fun to see Fanboy from Goth Girls perspective and to climb inside her head and get a look at what she was thinking.  Together they make great bookends for each other, making up this completed story of a time and relationship that is defining for both of them.

Barry Lyga did not originally intend to write Goth Girl Rising, and I can't help but think what a loss that would have been for us the readers.  Thank god he fell in love with Kyra the same way the reader does!  After reading them together I can't imagine them on their own!

Book received from the always lovely folks at Houghton Mifflin
Goth Girl Rising, by Barry Lyga
Published by Houghton Mifflin, Paperback January 2011
Buy Goth Girl Rising on Amazon
Barry Lyga's website
Fanboy and Goth Girls website

Join me tomorrow for an Interview with Barry Lyga about Goth Girl Rising and The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl.

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