About the Book

Title: The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl (The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl #1)
Published: 2006
Series: The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl
Swoonworthy Scale: 1

Cover Story: Dust-Jacket Removal
BFF Charm: Getting There
Talky Talk: Authentic
Bonus Factors: Comics, Conventions
Relationship Status: Class Friends

Cover Story: Dust-Jacket Removal

While I’m glad to say there’s a noticeable lack of our most prominent cover taboo offenders (cut off bodies, shadowed faces), I still can’t say this cover does anything for me. I like the typeface and the color, but…the lips? I can’t get past the lips. Sure, black lipstick fits with the story, but that doesn’t mean I need giant lips on my cover. I’d never even thought about whether lips made me uncomfortable or not, but apparently they do. I just could not read a lip book in public. This book would be totally great to give to teenage boys who are hesitant to get into the contemporary YA genre. But only with the dust-jacket off.

The Deal:

Donnie (whose known more affectionately as Fanboy) hasn’t exactly had it easy. After his parent’s divorce, Fanboy’s mom and the “step-fascist” moved Fanboy to a new town. Years later, Fanboy still only has one friend. Fanboy and his friend Cal both love comic books, but as an athlete, Cal is constantly being drawn into the world of Fanboy’s enemies (AKA the Jock Jerks). And those Jock Jerks? When they’re not ignoring Fanboy, they’re bullying or tormenting him. But Fanboy has a new friend (Kyra AKA Goth Girl) and a plan. He’s writing a graphic novel so good that once its published he’s sure to be famous and move out of his town and live the life of his dreams and have revenge on all those who made his life hell. But can he do it?

BFF Charm: Getting There

BFF Charm with a sweatband on

I really have a lot of sympathy for Fanboy. After being bullied and hardly has any support system in place to help him through it. His attitude toward the world and other people are totally justified. But he doesn’t have all that much friend experience, which means he’s a little rough around the edges when it comes to friend etiquette/protocol. 15 is so young that I have a hard time thinking we’d be friends at the beginning of the book. But toward the end of the book? You can see that Fanboy is really growing up and gaining some wisdom. And I could see us becoming friends at that point.

BFF Charm that says "denied"

On the other hand…Kyra? I just couldn’t see the appeal there. I felt sorry for her, but at the same time couldn’t stand how irrational, reckless and angry she was. She is volatile and not at all the kind of person I would want to spend my time with. She treated Fanboy like crap and could just fly off the handle without any notice. No thanks, I’ll pass.

Swoonworthy Scale: 1

Fanboy certainly spends a great deal of time thinking about the ladies, so the majority of this book’s swoon is one-sided. However, I feel like many heterosexual males can appreciate or relate to Fanboy’s voyeuristic thoughts.

Talky Talk: Authentic

I think what impressed me most about this book was how genuine our narrator’s voice felt. I feel like the author did an excellent job of channeling what is feels like to be 15 and feel unappreciated, bullied or completely out of place in the world. Fanboy spends much of his time with fictional stories or thinking toward the future or fantasizing about scenarios that will never happen. To anyone who spent any time thinking of “revenge” scenarios in high school, Fanboy will feel authentic and maybe a bit familiar. For example, Fanboy maintains a list of everyone who has ever wronged him:

The list is getting pretty long these days. It’s a compilation of everyone who’s ever pissed me off for no reason whatsoever. All of those Jock Jerks and Clique-its who treat me like dirty just because they can. Someday , when I’ve left this stupid little hick town with its stupid little hick people, the ones on The List are the ones I’ll be sure to remember more than anyone else. … The best revenge is living well, my dad told me once. So I’d be happy to show up at my tenth reunion in a stretch limo, or with a supermodel on my arm, or with a TV crew filming one of many documentaries about me or something. Just waltz in and make a show of ignoring them all, unless I get the chance to nail someone with just the right comment at just the right time.

Bonus Factor: Comics

The author of this book obviously knows his shit. And since our narrator Fanboy is a comic geek as well, this book manages to covers it all. There is debate between superhero comics versus the more literary graphic novels. There is debate over reading single issues versus trade paperbacks. So many different comic writers/artists are name dropped. We see the grueling process of trying to make your own graphic novel. This book is a treat for any comic enthusiast.

Bonus Factor: Conventions

Striped blue background with the words COMIC CON in a ka-pow action cartoon bubble

Fanboy attends a comic convention is order to meet his idol, Brian Michael Bendis. Conventions can be pretty crazy and this one doesn’t disappoint.

Relationship Status: Class Friends

This book and I have a great time in class together. We have a lot in common and we are always joking and having a good time. There is a good deal to enjoy about this book. But somehow we never get around to meeting up outside of school. So while I liked this book, it’s obviously that this book has plenty of friends who appreciate it/love it a lot more than I seem to.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl is available now.

Megan is an unabashed fangirl who is often in a state of panic about her inability to watch, read and play all the things.