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Gothic Lolita: A Mystical Thriller

Dakota Lane, Author, Dakota Lane, Photographer . Atheneum/Seo $17.99 (194p) ISBN 978-1-4169-1396-2

Ambitiously structuring her stylish novel as alternating narratives and interspersing these with black-and-white photos, Lane (The Secret Life of It Girls ) focuses on two half-Japanese, half-American girls who forge an unusual bond over their blogs, loneliness and fascination with the gothic Lolita subculture. Chelsea is in L.A. and Miya is in Japan; they've never spoken or even exchanged messages—they simply read each other's blogs. Their lives mirror each other's in their tragedies: when Miya's mother killed herself, her father abandoned her and her brother to an orphanage; Chelsea has not blogged for three years, since her brother disappeared). A manga that the girls love and the photographs add a surreal layer, as do the many mystical elements. There is even a suggestion that the girls have twin souls: Miya's grandmother consoles her about the twin who died in utero by saying that she was born immediately to someone else. Readers will find themselves quickly engrossed. Ages 12–up. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 11/03/2008
Release date: 11/01/2008
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