cover image Goth Girl Rising

Goth Girl Rising

Barry Lyga, . . Houghton Mifflin, $17 (400pp) ISBN 978-0-547-07664-5

Lyga returns to the characters and school from The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl , this time writing as Kyra, just released from a mental hospital. Kyra is mad at her dad for committing her, at friends who copy her new all-white clothes look and at a “hypocrite” teacher who espouses feminism but uses her body for attention. She focuses her anger on Fanboy, who played a role in her hospitalization and then ignored her for six months (meanwhile, publishing his comic in the school literary journal and becoming more confident—and popular). But even as Kyra plots revenge, she realizes she has other feelings (“God, I just want to tear his head off. And throw him down on the bed”). Her revenge plans never seem fully credible, but Kyra remains a fierce, unstoppable character. Readers will love getting her side of the story, whether she is raging about sexism in letters to her hero, writer Neil Gaiman, or finally figuring out that the person she needs is “someone who appreciates not just what you do, but how you do it.” Ages 14–up. (Oct.)