Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Goth Girl Rising - Barry Lyga

There are many things you can learn from this book, the sequel to The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl.
1.  There are a lot of really skanky girls out there.
2.  Some people, well, don't fit in.
3.  Parents often do really really hurtful things thinking they're helping, and it turns out they caused way more trouble and should be verbally thrashed (after you explain how this turn of events led to your arrest).

Kyra Sellers, Fanboy's gal pal and maybe crush, has been in a mental hospital for months because "Daddy Couldn't Handle Her.'
So as you can see, this book does not start off joyful.  Most people are still pretty bummed after they leave, even if they're glad as hell to be out.
It would appear that her friends . .  don't care about her?  Eh?  Should she seek revenge? Eh? No emails over the summer?  Nothing?  What's this about?
Well, if you read the first book by Lyga I reviewed just recently, you will know that Kyra doesn't let anyone get in her way.
However, she is the most bewildered badass there ever was.  She is still like, 'erm, feelings?  why do i have these?  and my mom's all dead and stuff, i'm not sure how i feel about that' only when she says it she doesn't sound stupid, because Kyra is a pretty smart girl and I'm just--well, nevermind.
Kyra comes up with some interesting ideas on how to combat things in her life.  Such as: Switching from Goth black to pure white, shaving her head, wearing blue lipstick, seeking revenge, and contemplating who she wants to kiss and what sex they are.
Now, I must warn you: this book, while it ends on a 'yeah i can get by' kinda note, can easily depress you.  Especially if you're me, because I was already a bit down, and then I was completely down, and Mr Husband blames that Goth Girl who kept staring at him. I'm not sure this is justified.
However, if you're a 'wheee i love life lalala' type person, you might be interested in this book because you can see how much life can suck for other people and how people who are sadder by nature think.  It could give you more understanding and whatnot.
Plus the cover looks AWESOME.  I want blue lipstick now. Then maybe I can creep out Mr Husband.
As a sequel, it is satisfying.  In fact, I want some more.  I want more on Fanboy and Goth Girl, but I'm not sure how Lyga would pull some more brilliance on these two for a book three.
Maybe I can just ask him nice and he'll tell me what happens to them.

PS- Barry Lyga is giving away signed copies on his facebook.  But only a few, and only if you answer the question to his satisfaction.

Now, on another note, I would just like to point out something for discussion.
Male authors who write about sad female teens seem to focus on sexuality.  Jay Asher has Hannah Baker depressed because everyone thought she was a skank when she wasn't, and Lyga has Kyra Sellers dead set on keeping anyone from thinking she's a sex object and scorning those who want to be thought of that way (even when they're her friends).
Now, I realize there is a great deal of sexuality in young adult books, but I notice that there don't seem to be as many teen girls written by women struggling with it the same way as those written by men.
Personally, I think this is fascinating.  You may not.  But if you have comments on this subject, do comment!

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