This is the sequel to the “Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl”. You wouldn’t absolutely have to read the first book to understand whats going on in this one, but reading the first book gives you Fanboy’s perspective on things and helps this book make a lot more sense. So, I guess I would recommend reading the first book before this one. This was a pretty darn good book by itself. I had a lot of trouble putting it down, Goth Girl is a very engaging character.
After the incident with the bullet in the first book Kyra is sent to a mental ward. This book starts as she is returning back to school from the mental ward. When she returns to life “outside” she is peeved to find out that none of her friends have e-mailed her in the 6 months she was gone. She is especially pissed at Fanboy. When she goes back to school she finds that Fanboy has started publishing his graphic novel “Schemata” in the school newspaper and on top of that people actually like him now. The whole thing makes her even madder and she sets out to plot her revenge against Fanboy.
Overall this book was paced much like the first one. This book is all from Goth Girl’s view. Goth Girl spends a lot of time thinking and struggling with her rage throughout this book and dealing with her mother’s death. The chapters are interrupted by occasional letters to Neil (Neil Gaiman) where she talks out the things that are bugging her. There are a boatload of references to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman in here. I am a huge Gaiman fan so I enjoyed those references. There was also a lot of discussion around what different parts of the Sandman novels actually mean; it makes me want to go back and read them all more carefully to see what I missed.
I thought that this story wasn’t quite as good as “The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl” in a couple of aspects. Goth Girl spends a lot of the beginning of the book complaining about her big breasts and how people notice them too much. Way too much time is spent on this. I started scanning the parts of the book where she just spends too much time on this. I also thought it took way too long for Goth Girl to come to some of the revelations that she came to; it made her come off as a little dim at parts. I know Fanboy is super smart, but I never thought Goth Girl was stupid and there are parts of this book where she acts pretty stupid (although smarter than her girlfriends).
Still, overall I really enjoyed the story. This is another one of those young adult books that talks about how young adults deal with anger and with the crappy hand that life deals them. I am sure many people can relate to this book. Kids who have lost a close loved one will relate with a lot of the feelings Kyra (Goth Girl) deals with. The thing I love most about this book is that the writing is witty and snappy. This book makes reading about all the heaviness in Kyra’s life kind of fun for the most part. I really do enjoy Lyga’s writing style.
Will I be reading more Lyga books? Not for a while; just because I prefer fantasy/paranormal books to angst ridden young adult books. I will definitely check out some more of his books when I am in the mood for some more young adult drama.