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The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl (The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl #1)

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,748 Ratings  ·  755 Reviews
Fanboy has never had it good, but lately his sophomore year is turning out to be its own special hell. The bullies have made him their favorite target, his best (and only) friend seems headed for the dark side (sports and popularity), and his pregnant mother and the step-fascist are eagerly awaiting the birth of the alien life form known as Fanboy's new little brother or s ...more
Audio CD, 5 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Listening Library (first published September 6th 2006)
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Matt Howard Listen to the audiobook - it's hysterical! The narrator is one of the best I've heard in a long time. He captures a 15 year-old comic geek perfectly!
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 09, 2010 Sonja rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Let us take a moment to analyze the title of this work of fiction.

Titles are tricky beasts -- you have to be careful with them. Titles, much like first sentences and paragraphs, make promises to the readers. Now readers, as everyone should know, are demanding little three year olds who want those promises kept, gosh darnit. As a reader, I demand (petulantly) that those promises be kept.

Astonishing -- that's a big word with lots of baggage that promises to be absolutely amazing and fantastic. For
Jan 02, 2012 Caris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, young-adult
My parents never told me to ignore bullies. They were advocates for fighting back. It seemed simple enough to them, I guess. But, then again, things seem a lot simpler when you’re not the one dealing with them.

Knowing I wouldn’t be punished for resorting to violence at school wasn’t relieving to me. It actually made the situation much worse. Knowing that if I told my parents what was happening, they’d tell me to just hit the guy made me uncomfortable with broaching the topic at all. Like Fanboy
Mar 01, 2008 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really had no idea what this book would be about. I had been hearing good things about Barry Lyga's other book, 'Boy Toy' and when I was at the library, this stood out as well. When I find an author that I like, I tend, like most people, to want to read everything by them, so, I grabbed it in the hopes that I liked his writing enough to want more... and I'm glad that I did.

That being said, The AAOFBAGG is truly well written, I don't know what I expected because I never read the back of the boo
Ariel Acupan
Sep 13, 2010 Ariel Acupan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before I start, I want to thank Ace (The Godfather of GR-TFG) for the book.

Who would not pick this book up from a rack? Great cover, a very clever title and not only that, as what Newsday said, what a find. I know some of you might say, what’s the diff, pretty sure that it’s another geek story novel but I tell you, it’s on how it was told. Barry Lyga makes me remember the fanboy in me. References to the comic gods like Brian Michael Bendis (House of M, Powers, Jinx), Neil Gaiman (Sandman) and Al
Aug 31, 2009 Annalisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: older teens
A novel for all the underdogs out there. I'm giving this book four stars for the voice. Lyga captures that tortured, conflicted, awkward stage in life with Fanboy, a nerdy boy who's smarter than everyone else, a little picked on for his size and goody two-shoes, and completely clueless about girls. So authentic 15-year-old boy it hurts. Obsessed with his graphic novel and focused on getting good grades as his way out, Fanboy's view of life changes when he meets Goth Girl, an emo chick who questi ...more
Nov 25, 2014 Miriam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teens and those trying to understand them
Shelves: ya, realism
Contrary to the title, no adventures take place in this story, nor anything of a particularly astonishing nature. Rather, this is a fairly standard teen novel about the difficulties of being smart and unpopular in high school. So I was a bit disappointed by the lack of action. However, Lyga does a good job capturing the angst and anxiety of this experience and doesn't make the kids too insightful or too nice to be believable.
Aug 25, 2012 Alyssa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Comic book enthusiasts and fans of Tim Tharp's prose.
The Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, as a title, is misleading in all sorts of ways. Not knowing anything of the plot, I was prepared and looking forward to a light, cutesy teen romance, with maybe a couple good one-liners. To say I was shocked by the staggeringly dark and disquieting story of the very angry Fanboy and Goth Girl would be a huge understatement. Though I’m not upset about the outcome of my reading experience, or about the depth Lyga unearthed in his characters, I think it suffi ...more
Such a quirky and off-beat book compared to most of what I've read lately. I enjoyed it thouroughly. It made me smile just about the whole time while reading it. I really don't get the ending of it though, maybe there is another book??!?!?
It would be nice to get some answers about the "goth girl", I know she is crazy-ish.....
Before I start the more serious portion of this review, can we just take a minute to talk about voice? Barry Lyga rocks at voice. Even when I don't particularly like his characters or what they are doing/saying/thinking; even if I don't want to understand where they are coming from, I do empathize and understand. They are surprisingly authentic. I can feel what they feel, I can see things from their perspective. I am allowed into their heads. I, a 28 year old woman, am emotionally turned into an ...more
Aug 26, 2008 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teens and those who teach them; lovers of voice
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Okay, I listened to half an hour of this, and I don't know if I can stand any more. I mean, I've been a nerdy 15 yr old who gets picked on. Not as badly as 'Fanboy', I guess, but still, been there. But after about 10 minutes of listening to his inner monologue, I was actually hoping for some jock to punch him. He is SO whiny and bitter and angry and just ANNOYING. And I get why he is angry, and maybe it's a pretty accurate portrayal, but... ugh.
I might start this again at some point, in the hope
Oct 12, 2014 Stephen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Teachers, anyone who wants to better understand brainy teen boys
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl is primarily a look inside the life and thoughts of a 15 year-old testosterone fueled, lust addled, teen geek with no friends and less self confidence.

Like any hormonally overloaded guy of that age he's girl crazed and amazed. He's used to being smart and having things he wants to know come easy to him. But when it comes to girls, he's got no clue.

The tumultuous inner monologue of a nerdy pubescent teen as he thinks about girls, and things sex
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read this book a few months ago and still recall most of the story and characters. This book's story was rather cynical - it was about a bullied teenager, who happens to be a comic geek, that meets up with this goth/emo girl named Kyra. What was lacking for me in this book was the whole "centerpiece", or the thing that connected the entire book. Besides Kyra's character, the book almost bored me to death. Basically he goes through some common teenage angst and at the end of the book ends up at ...more
I'm in the middle of the third disc of the audio book and cannot finish it. This book is doing very little for me. It's not that that the story is unrealistic or unbelievable, it's just uninteresting.

Donnie (Fanboy), lover of comic books, is a complete nerd. He has one pseudo-friend, Cal, who is a jock. He discusses his favorite comic book writers, fantasizes about panties and boobs, and is writing his own comic book. Then enters Kyra (Goth Girl) to make life a little more interesting. Not a ba
Mar 10, 2014 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-ya
A comic book freak and A-student, Fanboy's life as an outcast is merciless. When he's not avoiding jocks or being pushed around by jocks, he is treated like he is invisible by everyone else.

His home life isn't much better. He calls his mother's husband the step-fascist. Six years after their move to the neighborhood his mother keeps telling him he'll make friends - it just takes time. Fanboy gets through his days by fiddling with a bullet he found in the step-fascist's workshop and keeping a lis
Weston Ochse
Apr 26, 2012 Weston Ochse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is so fresh and fun and thoughtful, I wish I'd written it. Picked up my copy at a Hastings while I was doing a signing of my own novel - Blood Ocean. Lyga's title and first page sold me. But it was a used copy. Still, I ran through the book in two days, enjoying every second. Likable characters and an homage to the 80's got me happy early. Going to buy the next book(s) for kindle for an upcoming trip. I highly recommend.
Jan 11, 2015 Jenna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fanboy aka geek boy Donnie is 15 years he’s being bullied for years and the advice his mother gives him: just ignore them doesn't seem to help a bit. But there he’s is being hit again in PA and he thinks nobody cares or sees. But someone does Kyra aka goth girl with her snarky personality she asks him online why he just stand there and takes it.

Donnie lacks self confidence and his mother is pregnant from his evil step dad, Donnie doesn't like him. he and his mother don’t have a good relationship
Jan 15, 2014 Ploy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People attuned to YA, underdogs and the 'alternative'; love of comics is a big bonus
It can feel middle-school-like sometimes, although it's about sophomores in high school. I have my issues with it, but it was fun to read. My empathy for both Kyra and What's-His-Name is high, but I can't understand them sometimes. (view spoiler)

And wit
Lauren  Librarian
Jan 05, 2014 Lauren Librarian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With a gritty, harsh view of reality for modern teens from the perspective of a bullied kid, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Gothgirl left a bad taste in my mouth at times, but won me over in the end. Donnie or Fanboy carries a bullet in his pocket to empower him when his classmates make fun of him for being too smart. He fantasizes about gunning them all down and I almost put the book down for good after one of these scenes, a little too similar to real life tragedies like Colombine or ...more
Terri M.
Mar 20, 2016 Terri M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Terri M. by: Historical Fiction, Ancient Egypt, Y.A. Fiction, Time Travel
I'm not quite sure what caught my attention when I was in Half Price Books after Christmas, but I saw The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga on the clearance shelf and had to buy it. Certainly the price point was a draw, but something else grabbed me when I read the inside of the dust jacket. Perhaps it was a feeling of solidarity.

Fanboy is a loner and he has a passion for comic books. He has one friend, a jock named Cal, who shares the same passion. Then Fanboy meets G
Sep 13, 2008 Courtney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Wow. The pecking order doesn't just peck me. Cool."--Fanboy, p. 255

I know there's a lot going on in this novel such as suicide, bullying, family relations, boy/girl relations, etc., but the recurring theme, for me, centered around isolation and misperceptions. All of the major players feel some sense of isolation due to the perceptions of others.

1.Dina, who is the Goddess, feels isolated because she knows that her 'friends' only use her as a status symbol for their own popularity. The physical
Lyle Kimo Valdez
Jan 09, 2011 Lyle Kimo Valdez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ya, favorites
This book has a great blend of humor and drama. Fanboy's voice is strong, sarcastic and often hilarious. He also has so much depth and heart that the reader can't help but root for him every step of his tumultuous journey. He is a cunningly smart 15 yr. old who attends a typical high school where he is often overlooked and just can’t seem to fit in anywhere. He despises the jocks, yet his best friend, Cal, is one. This particular dynamic thread proves itself to be one of the most interesting rel ...more
Albert Riehle
I'm not sure, exactly, what I was expecting coming into this book. I'll be honest, I really didn't like the beginning at all. I was only on page four when a supposedly 15 year old boy makes this (first person) analogy: "This is the weirdest part--he smells like boiling leather." I'm a grown man and I don't know what boiling leather smells like. Fifteen year old boys know that things smell gross, not that they smell like boiling leather with hints of earth and ginger roots. This isn't a cigar con ...more
Krista (CubicleBlindness Reviews)
I saw the author tweeting one day that he was looking for reviwers so I jumped at the chance to review the audiobook. I have heard good things about his other books from my friends and interested to get the chance to jump into one myself.
I really thought the narrator did a great job in bringing out the personality of Fanboy and I'm looking into other works that he may have narrated.
As far as the story goes, it was very sad for me to read. I thought it was very realistic in many ways. The main
Dec 30, 2010 Karissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been wanting to read this book for a while. When I got "Goth Girl Rising" through the Amazon Vine program; I decided that that was the perfect excuse to go ahead and buy this book. It was a very good book. I enjoyed it and had trouble putting it down.

Fanboy is having a rough year. His mom is pregnant with his step-dad's kid, his step-dad doesn't understand him, he only has one friend, and everyone at school picks on him. There is one thing that he lives for and that is a graphic novel he
Donnie - xianwalker76 - is a good student with a passion for graphic novels. He's small for his age (15) and defines himself as a "geek." He lives in the basement of his pregnant mother and step-fascist's house and he keeps a "List" of all the people who treat him badly and bully him. Kyra - Promethea387 - is a goth-dressing, mysterious, revellious, motherless girl who drives a different car every day (without a license), and who tried to commit suicide in the past. When they become friends, Kyr ...more
Oct 14, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of John Green, Sherman Alexie, real life fanboys
Recommended to Susan by: Iran G
Lyga captures awkward misery better than just about anyone (save John Green or Sherman Alexie, maybe--and it would be close). The Fanboy of the title is a true comic book geek: a comic con attending, aspiring graphic novelist, and friend of superheroes. His life is not easy to say the least. He gets outrageously bullied on a regular basis. His best friend Cal, a jock with a closet case of comic fanaticism himself, turns his friendship on and off at school depending on which of his popular crowd ...more
Nov 20, 2011 Anna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: Caroline
This. Was. Interesting.

I should probably start off by telling you that I listened to the audiobook version of this and, from the very beginning, it rubbed me the wrong way. Why? Because the reader was the same guy who read Erik Larsson's Devil in the White City and that just felt wrong! I know these readers have to make a living and there's a limited amount of book recording options out there but there's no way I could buy this guy's voice as a 15-year-old kid.

But aside from that, I felt like t
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Barry Lyga is a recovering comic book geek. According to Kirkus, he's also a "YA rebel-author." Somehow, the two just don't seem to go together to him.

When he was a kid, everyone told him that comic books were garbage and would rot his brain, but he had the last laugh. Raised on a steady diet of comics, he worked in the comic book industry for ten years, but now writes full-time because, well, wou
More about Barry Lyga...

Other Books in the Series

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl (2 books)
  • Goth Girl Rising (The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, #2)

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“I just have an allergic reaction to lung cancer. Gives me tumors.” 26 likes
“I don't know and I don't care anymore. I was supposed to have my way for once, just once in my life. I did everything right and I got nothing for it.
I want to kill them all. no, better yet, I want to die. No, even bettter than that: I want to kill them all then die.”
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