• Reviewers say...

    "A triumphant finale leaves readers wanting to read the novel again and again."

    Lucy Freeman (teen reviewer), VOYA


Welcome to the Fanboy and Goth Girl web site! Browse the site for information about the book, an excerpt, VidLit link, images, and more.

You'll also get a chance to meet the main characters from the book through their blogs and letters.

Advance Praise for the Novel

For reviews that came after publication, visit this page.

Authors Say…

“You’re only a geek if you think you are–that’s a bit of real-life superhero wisdom revealed in Barry Lyga’s captivating, darkly entertaining first novel. The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl is a painfully authentic, unexpectedly moving portrait of a young comic book artist and the troubled girl who rescues him from his self-imposed isolation.”
–Tom Perrotta (Election, Little Children)

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl is a story that shares the joys and hardships of being a comic-book fan in High School in a surprisingly direct way. Besides showing us life with jocks and Goths, Barry Lyga captures all the fascination and magic of really seeing girls for the first time. Something good to remember, even if the rest of life as a geek wasn’t always so pleasant.”
–Jeff Smith (Creator of BONE)

“Being fifteen has never been easy, but The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl taps into the vein of today’s youth and shows us the pain of growing up in a post-Columbine world. Barry Lyga’s fast-paced and insightful story illustrates how entire lifetimes can be ruined or secured on the battlefields of high school.”
–Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise)

“Darkly entertaining…”

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy & Goth Girl has the weight and unequivocal intensity of great literature for any readership. Barry Lyga’s first novel transcends type by pushing deep and far with the characters at hand, particularly the too-smart-for-his-own-good, outcast narrator. From the very opening pages, sophisticated readers will recognize that they are in the hands of a very smart writer.”
–Terry Davis (Vision Quest)

“Excellent! Barry Lyga clearly has a deep and abiding love of comic books, but if Fanboy & Goth Girl were one, it would fall into the graphic novel category–there are serious themes here, including overcoming depression, confronting fear, and learning to trust in the unexpected. Characters take turns the reader could never predict, and the results are funny, moving, and resonant.”
–Ned Vizzini (It’s Kind of a Funny Story)

“Many years ago, at Yale University, Barry Lyga told me he had already completed a novel, and if you and I ever meet in person, I will tell you what it was about. He was a teenager at the time, but I was already a bitter old man; suffice to say I was outwardly scoffing, yet inwardly jealous of his ambition and envious of his diligence. Old friendships have been based on far less and far worse.
“Now it is 100 years later, and I have still not written a novel (honestly, I have barely written a paragraph), but Barry apparently has written a dozen or so and finally has chosen to publish one: The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl. It is the only book that I have stayed up all night to finish in perhaps ever, and I have small children, so you can appreciate how engrossed I must have been.

“I was rooting for Fanboy from the beginning…”

“Part of my insomnia was due to the amazing feat that Barry pulled off in showing me, 100 years later, that he was right all along: he is a writer of amazing chops and good humor and insight, unafraid to bare his obsessions (comic books) or his AP knowledge of high school, friendship, and heart’s wanting. The thing that really got me was the sheer, awful accuracy of Fanboy–his 15 year old inward eloquence, and how it is constantly undone by his outward, awful awkwardness. I wish I had expressed myself better when I was young: I was rooting for Fanboy from the beginning, and I’m rooting for Barry Lyga right now.”
John Hodgman (The Areas of My Expertise, The Daily Show)

Bookstores Say…

“This debut novel of two high school loners features a strong voice and interesting characters, and it kept me up reading long after I should have been sleeping.”
–Elizabeth Reynolds, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT

–Jenn Laughram, “Not Your Mother’s Book Club” organizer, Books, Inc., San Francisco, California

“Barry Lyga is like Jennifer Weiner for geeks.”
–Stephanie Mangold, columnist, SilverBulletComics.com

“High schoolers will want to read The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, a debut novel by Barry Lyga, about a teenage comic book artist and the troubled girl who befriends him.”
Rivers End Bookstore

“…an excellent book about kids who feel like outsiders- but who have more in common with each other and with their fellow students than they seem to realize.”
–Bronwyn Wright, Magic Tree Bookstore, Oak Park, IL (read the entire review)

Librarians Say…

“With subtle humor, quiet intensity, and a deeply intimate honesty, readers will be captivated and touched to the core by this story of the pain caused by being different and wanting desperately to reach for that which makes one feel extraordinary. The pain is almost tangible as one comic book geek finds the courage to rise above the constant beating down of his spirit…and the struggle to hold onto the threads of passion and belief that one can matter. Barry Lyga is a YA author to watch!”
–Stephanie A. Squicciarini, Fairport Public Library, Fairport, NY

“…easily one of my favorites of the year…”

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl kicks major a$@!! It reminds me of Heavy Metal & You but with graphic novels/comics instead of heavy metal music in the way that it shows the passion a teen can have for something. It is easily one of my favorites of the year (so far).”
–Kevin King, Kalamazoo Public Library, Kalamazoo, MI

“A hilarious story, Fanboy and Goth Girl has a little fan-service in it for all comic book fans, geeks, goths, and those who just feel invisible and overlooked in high school. Full of angst and anxiety and humor, this is definitely one of the best books of 2006.”
–Jenni Feigelman, Goshen Public Library, Goshen, NY

“Much love. Much with the Neil Gaiman fangirl, much with the evolution of a young man in high school that doesn’t feel forced at all.”
–read the entire review at Cedar Librarian

“…an authentic portrayal of social awkwardness and insecurity. [Fanboy’s] wit, sarcasm, creativity, and obvious passion (for comic books AND girls) are what make him an engaging character in this highly readable book.”
–Gretchen Ipcock, Sellers Public Library, Upper Darby, PA. Read the entire review

“I LOVE IT! The characters are so real it had me laughing out loud. Honest, entertaining, educated, and speaks to a group who needs it.”
–Molly Krichten, Associate Director, Guthrie Memorial Library — Hanover’s Public Library

And Readers Say…

“Barry Lyga’s Fanboy is an arrestingly accurate portrayal of the trials and obstacles faced by every modern-day high school outsider.”

“I read the first delectable page and BAM; fell in love. It’s really wonderful.”

“Smooth, authentic sounding voices…a great first time out!”

“you totally rule. incredibly awesome….very sharply written.”

“Amazing…utterly fantastic.”

“…it’s a wonderful work. The character voices are true and laugh-out-loud funny.”

“Amazing. I read the last third of the book wide-eyed, as if nothing else in the world could possibly matter as much as just absolutely not breaking the rhythm of this boy’s unfolding story. And the nice glowy feeling from the anger and the realness and strangely optimistic ending was utterly fantastic.”