Saturday, February 27, 2010

Review: "The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl"

Let's face it- high school can be one of two things: for some- an experience not soon forgotten, and for others- a living hell.

I never considered myself a "popular" guy myself, exactly. I went through my classes and endured the boring routine with all my other classmates. But I was, and always will be, a raging nerd. Just the audience Barry Lyga caters to in his first novel, "The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl".

Enter Fanboy; your average, run-of-the-mill comic-loving sophomore who always seems to find himself at the bottom of the social pyramid. He resents jocks and bullies, his only friend Cal is attracted to sports and popularity, and can't stop fantasizing about Dina Jurgens, the Senior Goddess.

And that's just his school life. He lives with his pregnant mom and his step father (whom he calls "the step-fascist"), and barely gets along with either. He rarely sees his dad, and the two don't speak as much as they used to. Not to mention he has to deal with derelict technology in the form of a personal computer. All in all, he hasn't the best of existences. But Fanboy has a secret he hasn't told a soul. A ticket outta that sorry excuse of a town, away from its inhabitants, and into fame and fortune- in the form of a graphic novel he knows will get published.

When he meets the sarcastic Kyra (Goth Girl), he finds someone he can relate to. Someone who shares his feelings towards the "social elite", his passion for comics, and his sense of wit. But she too has secrets not told to anyone...

At first, I figured the whole "high school underdog" thing was a bit cliche, and I found the story slow moving at the beginning. But the witty commentary kept me reading, and the climax leading to an ending I did not foresee made me decide that this is sequel material for sure.

I felt like I could relate to the main character inside his crazy (mostly white) school and complicated home life. The metamorphosis that takes place gradually throughout the whole book makes the end result worth the setbacks.

Even ordinary people can be superheroes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Self Auto Bio (I Know It's Redundant)

If you are reading this, my second post, then I have failed to totally creep you out and scare you off (Which is a good thing, mind you).

Your loyalty/curiosity/boredom will be rewarded in the form of learning a little bit more about me- since I completely blew off a proper introduction in the last post. And lucky for you, my idea of an auto bio isn't some Facebook note you get tagged in that you have to answer a bunch of silly questions but before you can post it your dinosaur bone of a computer decides to completely shut down on you and you end up loosing it all and out the window goes the almost thirty minutes it took for you to type up and then try to decide whether to try again or just say *#%! it and move on with your life...

Sorry, I'm kinda passionate about these things. A little.

My full name is Francis Blackwell Stith Jr., but people call me Blackwell. I am 17, 5'11, brown hair, brown eyes, and have eyebrows thicker than Groucho Marx's. I'm extremely thin and some might say (and they have, believe me) a bit lanky. I bite my fingernails when I'm nervous, and I have Ulcerative Colitis- a condition similar to Chron's Disease and IBS. Which isn't good, but I deal with it.

I enjoy reading, with my favorite genres being science fiction and fantasy. Don't think these kind of books will be the only ones I will review, however. I am fully able to go outside my comfort zone in order to enjoy a good work of literature. With that being said, I write depending on what I read.

When I'm not doing either, I enjoy kicking my feet back and relaxing to a movie or playing some video games. Casablanca is, in my humble opinion, the best American movie (I sense a possible future review...), but a good action flick isn't a bad choice either.

My favorite video game is the Halo series developed by Bungie, for their incredible storyline and their outstanding community. Plus, there's nothing like tea-bagging some child who really shouldn't be playing M rated games (yet parents/guardians buy them for their little demon spawn anyways).

So there you have it. Myself, in a nutshell.

Getting Acquainted

Hello, my fellow readers, and welcome to an exclusive look into my perspective. I have created this blog as an experiment, so to speak, for I wish to become a successful writer. On my journey to achieve such a goal, not only do I need to practice my writing on a semi-daily basis, but I also need to read to keep my mind sharp.

"Oh yeah? What are we gonna get out of it?"

Good question, Timmy. Seeing as I will be reading many different books, I will be forming opinions on such books concerning their overall goody-ness and such. I'm a generous individual, and I feel like you guys can benefit greatly from what I think.

And if not, you're free to stop gracing me with your presence. Losers.

In a way I'm actually doing you a favor. Everyone has a right to enjoy the finer things in life, and with my advice, you're one step closer to that right.
Of course, there are also no guarantees in life either. Which means you'll be taking a risk by trusting me. But life is more fun with risks, right?

Food for thought.

-FBS Jr.