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"It is a no-brainer that fans of the first book will eat this one up, but new readers will not have any trouble following the story as Lyga peppers this book with ample information from the first. Buy multiple copies of this one -- it will go out and get passed around -- and might not come back."--VOYA, April 2010
My mother and I both spent a lot of time in hospitals. Unlike her, I survived.
Before she went and died, my mom told me to stop bitching about my cramps all the time. "It’s nothing that every other woman on the planet hasn’t gone through," she said.
And besides, she went on, your period is a good thing. It’s a sign that you’re alive and healthy.
Easy for her to say—cancer was eating her lungs from the inside out, so what’s the big deal about some cramps, right?
Still, I knew that what I was experiencing wasn’t right or normal. It wasn’t what other girls were feeling every month. (I know—I asked around.)
Weird thing, though: After she died, my cramps sort of got better. It’s not like they went away; they just stopped being so intense and so consuming. I started to think that, OK, maybe this is what other girls felt. Like I had been abnormal before, but now I was somehow becoming normal, that now the world was working properly and everything was good and normal and usual.
Everything except my mom’s face . . .
My mom’s face before they closed the casket looked like a Barbie doll’s.
A Barbie doll someone had left in the sandbox too long.
All plasticky and too shiny, but somehow gray at the same time.
And then one day after the funeral—it was a pretty nice day, too—I took a box cutter from my dad’s workshop and slashed across my wrist. It hurt, but not that much. Not bad at all.
So I slashed the other one, too.
And that’s how I ended up in the emergency room and then in front of a judge and then locked up in a mental hospital.
That was my first time in the hospital. And I got out and I covered up my scars and I went on with my life and I tried to figure out what it was all about, and I’m still trying to figure it out.
But it just gets more and more complicated all the time. Every day. The world doesn’t slow down long enough for you to figure out anything; it keeps adding things in. Things like geeky guys and comic books and comic book conventions and effed-up teachers and . . .
And another stay in the hospital.
Posted October 8, 2009
Kyra Sellers is back, and if people know what's good for them, they will keep their distance. Her mother has died of cancer, and even her special relationship with Fanboy couldn't keep her life from spiraling out of control. If he hadn't told her father about the bullet, her innermost thoughts would still be hers.
After spending six months under psychological observation in a facility of her father's choosing, Kyra is back at home and expected to resume regular life. Her father has suicide-proofed the house so she can't even shave her legs, and all he wants is for her to behave herself at school.
It all just reminds her of how much Fanboy let her down. He said he'd email and stay in touch, but she never received a single contact. Now she's learning that while she was gone, his life went on. He seems to be everyone's hero, and he's rewritten his comic and is actually choosing to publish it in installments in the school literary rag.
Kyra uses her rebel skills to annoy everyone as much as possible. She refuses to be drawn into heartfelt conversations with her father. Instead, she blames him for her mother's death, and in an effort to shock him, shaves her head. As far as her behavior at school, it's nearly impossible to honor her promise to "be good." The teachers irritate her, the principal has unrealistic expectations, and Fanboy has been sucked into a situation with his comic that she just can't respect.
Almost immediately, Kyra reverts to yelling matches with her father, sneaking out at night, and stealing cars. Plagued by memories of her mother's lingering death, Kyra fights the urge to seek help from her therapist and her friends. How far will she go before she hurts herself or others?
Barry Lyga adds this sequel to THE ASTONISHING ADVENTURES OF FANBOY AND GOTH GIRL to his growing list of impressive YA fiction. What impressed me most about his creation was his ability to get inside Kyra's head to give readers a vivid view of her emotional upheaval.
The suggested audience is 14 and up, which is sensible given its straight-forward, gritty characters and rough dialogue. However, this isn't in any way a fault of the book, since Lyga keeps true to the unique voice of Kyra that he created in the first Fanboy/Goth Girl book.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 14, 2009
I Also Recommend:
Warning: do not read this book without reading The Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl first.
GOTH GIRL RISING picks up the story right where it left off. At least for Kyra (AKA Goth Girl). Back from her time in the mental hospital and still dealing with her mother's death, she wants nothing more than to get re-connected with Fanboy and her previous life. Unfortunately, Fanboy is not the person he used to be...
My first thought when I started this book was that it felt so good to be back in Brookdale. It was great to see the same characters again, like The Spermling and Cal, and especially great to see the new Fanboy. It was also neat to see things from Kyra's perspective, and the close ties to Neil Gaiman's Sandman series is sure to please many comic book fans.
GOTH GIRL RISING brings a harsh and brutally honest voice from a confused girl. At times she is downright unlikeable, and yet readers will find themselves wanting good things to happen to her. Though this book deals with issues like suicide and the death of a parent, it is also about hope and overcoming the things that can sometimes hold you back. A top notch follow-up from Lyga, and I would love to see more from these characters!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 8, 2009
Kyra is back from the mental institution where she spent six months after her dad thought she wanted to kill herself. She's been released to return home and go back to high school, because she's not considered a threat to herself any more. But that doesn't mean life is easy. Her dad, whom she calls Roger, is keeping a tight leash on her, she hates school and gets in trouble her first day back, and she's very angry. Angry at Roger, angry at her mother who died of cancer a few years ago, and most of all angry at the guy she calls Fanboy, who told Roger she may be suicidal and got her sent away in the first place.
While Kyra was away, Fanboy has suddenly gone from being a geek to being popular with a lot of the kids in school. He's publishing his graphic novel serially in the pages of the school journal, and he's getting a lot of attention for it. Before, no one really knew Fanboy except Kyra. She gave him advice about his graphic novels, and she thought they may become more than friends. But now that Fanboy seems to have dropped her and moved on, she's bent on getting revenge.
Goth Girl Rising by Barry Lyga is not a comfortable book to read, mostly because Kyra is such a hard character to like. Her emotions are raw, she bucks all authority, and she's what every parent doesn't want to have for a child: a smoking, cursing, school-skipping, car-stealing, in-your-face girl. Yet, interspersed between the chapters with Kyra's voice are vignettes of a small poem that builds as the book goes on. It's Kyra's memory of her cancer-chemotheray-ravaged mother's last days. These vignettes give you a glimpse into the pain and guilt that Kyra has never dealt with since her mother's illness and death, and you begin to see what's behind her self-destructive behavior.
While Goth Girl Rising is a continuation of the story from The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, this book stands on its own and you don't have to have read the first one to appreciate it. This book is definitely for older girls, I'd say 15 and up. The teens use foul language, are sexually promiscuous, drink alcohol, smoke, and make very bad decisions based on faulty information. It all feels painfully real, and the situations should provide great discussions between mothers and daughters and book club members.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 8, 2014
Posted June 11, 2013
Posted March 10, 2013
I really liked this book -- Kyra is a true class act. Nobody was going to get into her space or put her down, no matter how hard they tried.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 15, 2012
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Posted February 27, 2012
Time is a funny thing in the hospital. Especially in the mental ward. You lose track of it easily. When Kyra, otherwise known as Goth Girl, is finally released from the Maryland Mental Health Unit after six long months, she is ready to pick up right where she left off.
She's ready to make up with Fanboy and continue helping him with his graphic novel. He might have been a jerk and it might have been his fault that she got committed again. But Fanboy might be the only person who really understands her just as she is, and that's worth something.
Except a lot can change in six months. Especially outside of the mental ward. When Kyra returns to Brookdale she expects everything to be the same. But nothing is.
Her goth friends Simone and Jecca don't seem quite so interesting. Roger isn't the standoffish father he once was. And Fanboy, well, he isn't Fanboy anymore.
Suddenly popular and self-assured, Fanboy has become someone Goth Girl doesn't recognize. Someone who doesn't even need her. Someone who forgot her.
All of Kyra's plans for a grudging reconciliation with Fanboy are soon replaced by frustration, and only one acceptable course of action--to destroy him and all of her other enemies in Goth Girl Rising (2009) by Barry Lyga.
Goth Girl is a complex character whose story was largely up in the air at the end of this book's prequel The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl. In addition to explaining what happened to Kyra between books, Lyga provides a window into Kyra's world by narrating Goth Girl Rising in her voice.
Unfortunately, the peripheral characters in this story are not as well-developed. Simone and Jecca especially are not as complex, appearing, by the end of the story, to be more like annoying nuisances than Kyra's best friends.The homoerotic subplot between Jecca and Kyra is also problematic not so much because it's in the book as because it is so scattered and does little to add to the plot or even the character development.
Fanboy and Goth Girl are both, in their own ways, comic book geeks. This book is rife with references to Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" series but instead of adding to the story these references feel more like a crutch device filling the pages of this story with explanations of different aspect of Gaiman's work.
Lyga does still manage to tackle some heavy themes effectively here. Kyra's narrative voice rings true as talks through her depression and suicidal thoughts. By the end of Goth Girl Rising readers will understand what Kyra has been through even if they can't quite grasp her rage.
Really, the main problem with this book is that there was not enough Fanboy. Having read about and loved that charming comic geek before, it was disappointing to find him in a relatively small part of Goth Girl Rising as seeing Goth Girl and Fanboy reunited was one of the best parts of this novel.
Possible Pairings: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, The Sandman Series by Neil Gaiman, How to Steal a Car by Pete Hautman, Liar by Justine Larbalestier, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga, Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
Posted December 28, 2011
Posted December 4, 2011
Posted March 31, 2011
Posted November 16, 2009
As soon as I finished reading The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl I wanted a sequel. Well, I got one. And honestly, I'm disappointed.
Something about this book really doesn't add up to me. There just wasn't anything about it that caught my interest like Lyga's other books. One of my biggest problems was the characters. Kyra was my favorite character in the first so seeing her actual thoughts here is...underwhelming, to say the least. She's very whiny. And I'm aware that she changes for the better in the end, but still. For the duration of the book I wanted to smack her , especially concerning Fanboy (who was much blander and not as frequent in this book) and her plotting. I also disagree with her being understandable. I was also put in a mental ward for suicidal thoughts and I was only in it a week. So why was she there for six months? Two weeks as an inpatient is considered lengthy from where I'm from. But I digress. All in all, I didn't like her at all in this book. Neither did I like her two friends, whom even Kyra didn't seem to like. They were shallow, stereotypical girls. The book just felt like it had bland characters with a whole lot of nothing. So, not bad, not good. Just...underwhelming.
Posted October 16, 2009
Goth Girl Rising is a good book for people who are getting over something that messed them up ( No offense )and a preson they knewn isn't that person anymore. The one person who looked at you crazy when you did or said something crazy,and then...they laugh. It's hard to get over SO MUCH when we're just humans. Lots of pepole today want us to be tough get over them stop being YOU their not mostly sayin' but are sayin'. And i know if you showed this to your bf and they liked color,rainbows,pretty things,and all that and they see you with this and go " Ewwwwww! How can you read that and...and sleep with knewning tha crap is in oyur head!" But don't let that hurt you like that probley hurt Goth Girl but she didn't show it,but deep,deep,deep,deep down they will find their selfs in this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 11, 2010
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