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Gothic Lolita: A Mystical Thriller

Dakota Lane, Author, Dakota Lane, Photographer
Dakota Lane, Author, Dakota Lane, Photographer . Atheneum/Seo $17.99 (194p) ISBN 978-1-4169-1396-2
Reviewed on: 11/03/2008
Release date: 11/01/2008

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.)