It's been awhile since I've actually liked a book that wasn't a memoir or a reread. I've decided that there's 2 reasons for this:
1) I'm always hungry when I'm reading and like Liz Lemon when she doesn't get her sandwich from the Teamsters on sandwich day (which should be a national holiday if it's not one already), I am not a happy person when I'm hungry or when someone takes food away from me. Right now I'm mourning the fact that I'm out of wasabi peas and how just last week someone stole Reese's from me (NOT OKAY). If my parents wanted to punish me more effectively when I was growing up, they should have taken away my food, not force me to eat stuff I didn't like.
2) I keep comparing books I read to Fey's Bossypants. Which isn't fair, I know, because Bossypants is perfection and as a memoir, it's obviously structured differently than a novel. It's also about Tina's life so it's clearly better than most fiction. Yes, I love Tina Fey and it's her birthday today and you should read this blog entry my friend wrote about her because I said so.
But luckily, when I read Barry Lyga's The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, I was on a 4 hour bus trip from NY and had a 1.5 pound bag of candy and chocolate covered pretzels next to me to maintain my hyperness after meeting Sheldon from "The Big Bang Theory" and consequently getting next to no sleep due to excitement. To sum up, I was in a good mood because I wasn't hungry, had extra food, and had met Sheldon, so I was ready to actually enjoy a book. Basically, the story is almost the typical social outcast loves comic books, creates his own graphic novel, meets a girl (gasp!) and so on and so forth. There are elements to the story, however, that make it not so typical, so aside from the fact that I was happy whilst reading (see above if you've somehow forgotten what makes me happy), they're the reasons I really liked this book.
This book does a far better job than the book Drawing a Blank: Or How I Tried to Solve a Mystery, End a Feud, and Land the Girl of My Dreams when it comes to revering comic books and graphic novels. I read Drawing a Blank for a class project and it was all over the place. The discussion of comic book history felt forced in Drawing a Blank, but in Fanboy it was more organic and actually made me want to start reading more graphic novels, something "The Big Bang Theory" also accomplishes for me...hence why my high from meeting Sheldon has something to do with my liking this book so much. But moving on.
Donnie (Fanboy) clearly loves comic books and what I love about this book is that his love is never challenged. I used the word love too many times just then and I don't care. Anyway, usually the nerd goes through a phase where a character tries to force him from his hobby, (like the Time Machine episode of "Big Bang"...I'm really in a Fey and "Big Bang" rut, aren't I?) but that doesn't happen here because there's a more endearing story on the surface than the nerd needs to get a life plot. The only thing that happens with this storyline is Goth Girl argues that graphic novels are better than comic books. Truth?
Goth Girl is a huge mess. A suicidal, pathological liar, flashing comic book conventions, kicking guys in the balls mess. I love her. She'd normally be the one the hero has to "save," but that doesn't happen because the novel isn't a comic book. She, like my comedian love Fey, is all about girls kicking ass. There's a sequel called Goth Girl Rising that came out recently that I'm going to have to read now. While eating delicious fattening food.