Gena Showalter returns to the blog today with a re-release /rewritten earlier title – this a YA title full of angst, growth and hard-won acceptance in
Oh My Goth
Jade Leighton had a hard life, and the time after that wasn’t spectacular either. With the death of her mother when she was little, she decided that not going to feel for anyone or anything anymore is the way to live. Then, she won’t be so devastated when they go. Because in her experience, most everyone goes away – family, friends and even hopes for a boyfriend. It’s just easier to stay apart – let them talk, it doesn’t really affect you if you don’t care – right? Oh how wrong that is, but Jade’s got to learn the hard way, and the lessons are ones that don’t actually appear and come into your notice right when you need them!
Proving that she doesn’t care for anyone isn’t easy – but dressing up with goth-heavy style and being the ‘weird kid’ helps to keep new people away, what she didn’t count on was that friends she’d had for years, and that easy relationship with her Dad, would also be challenged by her new look and standoffish attitude. With care and style, Gena Showalter uses the often-overplayed teen tropes of mean girl, emo boy, bullying, teasing, ostracism and gossip to turn the story, and Jade’s attitude on its ear. Discovering that along with her former BFF – now THE mean girl in school, Mercedes, Jade wakes to find herself in an alternate reality – where Goth is the THING, she is more popular than Mercedes was at the height of her ‘teen queen rule the school’ phase, and even Jade’s old friends who left her to follow Mercedes, are now on the outside looking in.
Best of all, this world has the ‘new guy’ Clarik as well, and he’s just as gorgeous without that habit of pushing people away before they even come close. And this Clarik finds her to be interesting, intriguing and the real her, beneath the push-away don’t come close Goth makeup is the Jade that could have been: one that isn’t to be avoided or teased, but the empathetic, non-bullying person who can now look past the cliques and social-ladder of the school and judge people on who they are – not what they look like. Interestingly, for Mercedes, the wake-up call was just as dramatic, and potentially far more valuable to the community at large. For once the bullying bitch, prone to ‘sharing’ private diary entries at parties, serving direct cuts and subtle digs to those she deemed ‘unworthy’, she’s come to see that everyone has feelings that are easily hurt, and that being mean and bullying just because you can, or you want to hide just how insecure you are inside – isn’t right, and the friendships that girls make with girls that support and cheer on each other are what will help you when things get rough – and it was a solid lesson to everyone about becoming a real friend, and learning to support, question and cheer on – rather than judge, shame and denigrate.
I don’t honestly know just how many YA-Aged readers will absorb the lessons here – but exposure and learning to see the similar desires, dreams and needs of your fellow human beings is never a bad thing. A lovely read from Showalter, clever, engaging and honest enough to feel plausible even with the fairly out-there alternate universe where the lessons are provided in actual time and space examples.
Title: Oh My Goth
Author: Gena Showalter
Genre: Contemporary Teen Fantasy
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Published on: 4 September, 2018
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 35 minutes
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A note from Jade Leighton’s journal
Years ago, a tragic accident robbed me of my mother and emotions. Because I find beauty in darkness and thrive outside social norms, I’ve been labeled a “freak” at school. I know my continued apathy hurts my loved ones, but I’m not about to change. Nothing will ever hurt me again.
Then I wake up in an alternate reality…and everything else has changed. Goth is in. I’m considered cool, and my archenemy—the formerly popular Mercedes—is the freak. But my real friends won’t talk to me...and the new boy is getting under my skin. As my world spins out of control, I’m desperate to return to normal. But the more time that passes, the less I’m sure what “normal” really is.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.