[REVIEW] Oh My Goth – Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter
Oh My Goth
Simon & Schuster MTV Books (4th July 2006)
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Dr John Laroque has the fascinating idea of changing problem teens for the better using virtual reality, and Jade Leigh and her nemesis Mercedes Turner are forced into the game with parental consent. For someone who’s supposed to be a heroine, Jade demonstrates contradiction, hypocriticism, double standards and whatnot, and I was close to quitting this book early on. Never have I felt such a negative reaction towards a protagonist within the first three pages. But with Chapter 3 came the “field trip”, and things got interesting from there, where Goth was popular – as was Jade – and Mercedes the Barbie was a “freak”.

Jade claims to be a non-comformist, though she’s proud to be a punk Goth – meaning while she doesn’t conform to the Barbies, she still conforms to Goth standards. And while she claims that everyone always judges her, she judges them right back. I realised this straight away, but it took much longer for Jade to figure it out.

Reading about an American high school was somewhat of a culture shock to me. In my Australian public high school we wore uniforms; there were strict rules about hair colour, piercings and makeup; and cheerleaders did not exist. So I had trouble connecting with these fictional teens and their superficial attitudes. Since when can teens seemingly without jobs afford Sidekicks? Mooching off their hardworking (or rich) parents, of course. They just seemed to lack respect for others, and I hated Jade’s holier-than-thou attitude. She feels like a teacher is picking on her, but she sinks to his level and serves him right back. Where is the maturity?

While so much about this book annoyed me, it was still interesting enough to read it in basically one sitting. Here’s hoping the author’s Teen Alien Huntress books are better.

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4 responses to “[REVIEW] Oh My Goth – Gena Showalter

  1. Her style of writing is pretty easy to read and the story ideas are intruiging but I think the problem I have is this nagging feeling like many things aren’t fully thought through. I feel like her books often suffer from slap-dashery – big plot holes and too convenient endings. I read Oh my Goth, Red Handed, Black Listed and Awaken Me Darkly. They all had something that kept me interested enough to finish the books quickly, but none have felt like keepers.

  2. It’s kind of strange, because I’ve been really looking forward to the Alien Huntress books, and while there was a lot to like about Red Handed, it also wasn’t as good as I’d hoped it would be.

    Still, I’m about to begin Blacklisted, and I’ll get around to the adult Alien Huntress books later.

    Ach, forgot to write about the sudden disappearance of Jenn in Red Handed. We never did find out why she was dropped, did we?

    Have a lovely day! 🙂

  3. Um.. I can’t remember the thing with Jenn, was that her friend who was with her at the party? I think I ended up liking red handed the most because of the whole redemption after addiction thing and the way she was seen by people she betrayed because of it.

  4. I actually LUVED Oh My Goth! I can’t Believe that other people don’t! I just started it and it is definitly one of my fave books!

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