I fun, fast-paced, smart book that accurately and amusingly captures the suffering of teenage life. I love Lockhart's nuanced characters and her penchI fun, fast-paced, smart book that accurately and amusingly captures the suffering of teenage life. I love Lockhart's nuanced characters and her penchant for nuanced relationships. She's an inspiration to me. ...more
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl lured me into the mind of an angry, geeky fifteen-year-old boy. The character is believable, almostThe Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl lured me into the mind of an angry, geeky fifteen-year-old boy. The character is believable, almost too believable. I found myself wanting to speed through parts of the book because, you know what? The mind of an awkward, petulant, horny, arrogant teenage boy with delusions of grandeur is not really where I want to linger at this point in my life. That said, almost every character in the book has layers and depth, and Lyga doesn't flinch away from making the protagonist and his friend, the titular Goth Girl, every bit as annoying as actual teenagers. Annoying yet sympathetic. The author also has an rare knack for allowing the reader to see the world through the narrator's eyes, yet actually see more than the narrator does. For example, the narrator thinks his mom and step dad are monsters, but we see that they are not; the narrator thinks that Kyra (Goth Girl) is self-assured and wild, but we see that she is, in her own way, just as awkward and needy as he is. A hard to master literary technique that puts The Astonishing Adventures in the company of A Confederacy of Dunces and The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole . Well-written and fast-paced, if a bit difficult to read at times....more
Put quite simply: This book rules. Frankie Landau-Banks is an unknown sophomore at a swanky boarding school. Mathew Livingston, a popular senior, takePut quite simply: This book rules. Frankie Landau-Banks is an unknown sophomore at a swanky boarding school. Mathew Livingston, a popular senior, takes an interest in her, and suddenly she's sitting at the cool kids' table. Frankie loves Mathew's friends, who are unafraid to be themselves, but she's annoyed at her arm-candy status, and she quickly tires of being relegated to the periphery of the group. When she discovers that Mathew and his friends are part of the school's legendary all-male secret society, the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, Frankie embarks on a spying mission that evolves into a series of elaborate pranks. The writing is snappy, the plot is highly amusing, and Frankie is a refreshing protagonist,willful and intelligent without being infallible. Surprisingly, the book contains witty and extremely perceptive analysis of male/female relationships and human interactions in general. It actually made me think, which is pretty unusual, considering it's aimed at kids and teenagers, and I am 30. I wish I could have read this book when I was fifteen; it's an excellent primer for conquering a number of situations typical to the early teenage years. Highly recommended, particularly if you like children's and young adult novels....more
Annie, who has spent the first 17 years of her life in Connecticut and thus enjoys listening to The String Cheese Incident, is dismayed to learn thatAnnie, who has spent the first 17 years of her life in Connecticut and thus enjoys listening to The String Cheese Incident, is dismayed to learn that she will be spending her senior year in Beuford, Alabama. She is even more dismayed to learn that her conservative grandmother will not pay for college (Brown, of course) unless she comes out as a debutante. Based on this description, those of you who know me may be surprised to hear that I actually liked this book (except for the part where Annie reveals that she thinks of herself as a 'prippie' or 'preppy hippy'). I was pleasantly surprised by the casual/realistic portrayal of teenage drinking and smoking. I guess I was expecting something a little more Sweet Valley 'Ohmygod she tried Coors Light for the first time and now she's in a coma!' High. Instead the teenagers in this book drive around drinking and smoking and hang out 'raising hell' in church parking lots, which seemed fairly realistic to me. Silly and light but pleasant. Recommended for those of you who like chick lit and/or young adult books....more
It was inevitable that I read this book eventually. In fact it was almost embarrassing how many people asked if I'd read it. Evidently I seem like theIt was inevitable that I read this book eventually. In fact it was almost embarrassing how many people asked if I'd read it. Evidently I seem like the type of person who might be caught reading a cheesy teen romance about vampires who look like 'marble statues of Greek gods'.
No, it's not brilliantly written. But it could be worse. At least its well organized. Despite the many rambling paragraphs devoted to the teenage narrator's erotic agonies over her undead paramour, the actual story has a neat arc.
Things I liked about this book:
* The love interest, Edward, is quite likable (an impressive feat since I am usually prejudiced against characters who are described as looking like Greek gods).
* The protagonist/narrator, Bella, while sometimes aggravating, is a decently likable misanthrope.
* Although Bella obsesses way too much, at least Edward, being 105 years old and undead, is actually darkly mysterious, unlike the dudes I was obsessing over when I was a teenager.
* Despite the pervasive drama, the characters actually do spend some good times together; it's not all misery and drama....more