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Oh My Goth Paperback – Jul 4 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: MTV Books; 1 edition (July 4 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416524746
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416524748
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #625,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than thirty novels in a thrilling blend of genres: breathtaking paranormal and contemporary romances, supernatural humor, and cutting-edge young adult novels. Visit her at GenaShowalter.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

When people look at me, they automati-

cally assume I'm dark and weird. Why

can't they see the truth? I'm just a girl,

trying to find my place in the world.

-- From the journal of Jade Leigh

God, I hate school.

I'm sitting in trig, listening (not really) to Mr. Parton drone on and on about angles and measurements. As if I care. As if I'll ever use that stuff outside of this classroom.

Honestly, I'd rather be anywhere else. Even home, where my dad begins almost every conversation with, "You should lose the black clothes and wear something with color." Puh-lease. Like I want to look like every Barbie clone in Hell High, a.k.a. Oklahoma's insignificant Haloway High School. Ironically, Dad doesn't appreciate the bright blue streaks in my originally blond/now-dyed-black hair. Go figure. That's color, right?

With my elbows resting on my desktop, I dropped my forehead into my upraised palms and closed my eyes. Mr. Parton continued to blah, blah, blah (or, as he'd tell you, talk), and his superior, I-know-the-answers-therefore-I-am-God voice grated against my nerves.

Was I surprised? No. He always talked to us like that, as if we were dumb for not already knowing how to work math equations we'd never encountered before. He even got mad when we asked questions -- God forbid we actually learn, right? -- and generally treated us like total dumbwits.

Fifteen minutes, thirty-seven seconds before bell. Translation: fifteen minutes, thirty-seven seconds of me wishing for an apocalyptic destruction of the universe so my misery would end.

What had I done to deserve this kind of torture? Talk back to my dad? Who didn't? Ditch a few classes? Show me one person who hasn't. Pierce my nose? Well . . .

"If Miss Leigh will give me the honor of her attention," Mr. Parton snapped, "I'll explain the relation between sins and chords."

I didn't glance up, didn't want to encourage him. Really, when would this end?

"Are you paying attention, Miss Leigh, or are you praying you never come into contact with a wooden stake?"

Several students chuckled.

I still didn't bother looking up, but I did react to his taunt. "No, I'm not," I gritted out. I think the man enjoyed making fun of me more than he liked teaching. Not a single day passed without a snide comment from him: Why don't you do everyone a favor and stay home tomorrow, Miss Leigh? You're the reason I need ulcer medication, Miss Leigh. Your poor father, he must need a lot of therapy, huh, Miss Leigh. I'd heard it all. "FYI," I added, "your comment doesn't make you fright, Mr. Parton."

"Fright." Avery Richards snorted. "That's such a dumb word."

"Just say cool like the rest of us," someone else said.

I felt my cheeks heat with embarrassment -- and hated myself for letting them see any hint of upset.

Mr. Parton tapped his foot impatiently. "Mind sharing with us what you were doing that's more important than listening to what I have to say? If anyone in this classroom needs to learn, it's you."

Okay. Now I'm officially pissed. "If you must know, I'm thinking of less painful ways to kill myself than from your lesson. Kevin."

My classmates erupted into laughter, and I heard the shuffle of their seats as they turned to glance at me. They may not like me, but they always found my irreverence amusing.

Mr. Parton glared. "You will address me as 'Mr. Parton' or not address me at all. You do not call me by my first name. Ever. I don't want someone like you even thinking it."

How's this for a math equation: the wooden stake comment plus the someone-like-you comment equals a ready-to-throw-down Jade Leigh. His words assured one thing: I would not allow myself to back down now.

"Is it okay, then, if I call you Kevie?" I said. I'm Goth; that doesn't make me a vampire. If I were, I would have drained Mr. Parton a long time ago.

Honestly, I'm not evil. I liked to dabble in the magical arts (upon occasion), yes, and I dressed to set myself apart from the ultratraditional norm. There's nothing wrong with expressing my individuality.

"There will be a quiz on this information," he growled. "While I'm happy to give you an F, I'll be even happier to give you detention if you don't start paying attention."

He expected me to shake with fear over the thought of detention. If he'd said something about "extreme makeover" or "an hour of shopping with the Barbie clones" . . . maybe. But an hour alone with my thoughts?

Yeah, I'm quaking.

Just keep your mouth shut, Jade, my common sense piped in. Ignore him. You can't afford to be in trouble again. I looked up at last, facing him, determined (finally) to remain silent and end our battle. He wouldn't get in trouble for it, but I would. Yet, when my gaze locked with his, his too-thin lips curled in a smug smile and his green eyes glowed with triumph -- as if he'd already won.

"That's what I thought," he said, his voice as smug as his grin.

"Detention sounds like fun," I found myself saying, all sense of preservation annihilated by his premature smugness. "Sign me up. I can hardly wait to start."

His eyes narrowed to tiny slits, and his face darkened to an angry red, clashing with his white button-up shirt (no wrinkles) and brown dress slacks (again, no wrinkles). So neat. So tidy.

At one time, I bet he'd been military.

That's probably why he'd taken an instant dislike to me at the beginning of the school year. Military men, like my dad, liked things precise, nothing out of place. I usually wore a black vinyl shirt lined with cobweb lace, fishnet gloves, and ripped jeans. Or, like today, a frayed black mini and black Victorian corset. Soooo not "precise" and completely out of place. My black lip liner and nose ring probably didn't help.

What do you think he'd do if he saw the symbol of infinity tattooed around my navel?

"You want detention so badly I'll sign you up for the entire week." He crossed his arms over his chest, obviously expecting me to rush out an apology. "How would you like that?"

When would he learn I wasn't like the other kids at this school?

"Mr. Parton," I said, studying my metallic blue nail polish as if I hadn't a care in the world. Inside, though, I hadn't forgotten that I stood on the edge of a jagged cliff, trouble waiting for me if I fell. But I couldn't seem to help myself; I despised this man too much. "Do you mind getting back to your lecture, so I can get back to my nap?"

Another round of laughter erupted.

"That's it!" Scowl deepening, he pounded toward me and slapped his hand against my desk, causing the metal legs to vibrate. If he didn't learn to control his stress level, he'd burst a vessel in his forehead. "You've been nothing but a nuisance for three weeks. You have the worst grades in the class -- in all your classes, actually. I checked."

My back straightened, and my shoulders squared. How dare this "role model" discuss my grades with the entire class. "I have an A in creative writing," I informed him staunchly.

"Well, good for you." The sarcastic edge in his voice grated against my every nerve. "You know how to write in your native language. Woohoo. Let's all give Miss Leigh a round of applause."

More laughter (no longer in my favor), followed by the sound of enthusiastic hand clapping and whistling. Traitors! I should have expected nothing less.

My eyes narrowed, and I think Mr. Parton realized I was about to rip into him. He slapped my desk again. "We're done with this conversation. I've had enough of you, and I want you out." He jerked a finger toward the door. "Get out of my classroom. Go straight to the principal's office. Do not talk to anyone. Do not stop in the bathroom."

What, should I collect two hundred dollars if I passed Go?

Tomblike silence claimed the room as I bent to retrieve my books and red velvet purse from the floor. "Don't you need to write me a note or something?" I said, purposefully keeping my tone light. No way I'd give him the "please let me stay" reaction he craved.

His nostrils flared before he stomped to his desk, scribbled something on a piece of paper, and thudded back to me. He smacked that sheet into my outstretched palm. "Out!"

"Thanks," I said, proud of myself. I hadn't backed down, hadn't let him intimidate me. As my mom once said, "If you don't stand up for yourself, Jade sweetie, no one else will. Be strong. Be brave. Be you."

She'd uttered those words right before she died.

Two years ago, a distracted driver had slammed into our car, propelling us into the one in front of us. I'd been fifteen at the time, and she had been teaching me how to drive. I lost my mom that day, as well as the illusion of immortality. I had almost died myself and still bore the scars on my abdomen, so I understood how short life could be. I would not allow a man like Mr. Parton to ruin a single day of mine.

I may only be seventeen years old, but that doesn't mean I'm stupid. That doesn't mean I'm powerless. Mr. Parton enjoys taking his frustrations out on his class. He spills coffee on his shirt, we get a quiz. He locks his keys in his car, we get ten pages of homework.

What's more, I (obviously) can't stand the way he talks to me, as if I'm less of a person than he is because I'm younger, because I dress differently. Should I be punished for not liking math (and sucking at it)? Should I be punished for dabbling in what others considered the darker side of life?

"Pick up the pace," he told me irritably. "The sooner you're gone, the sooner the rest of the class can enjoy the lesson."

I pushed to my feet and adjusted the bag over my shoulder. "I don't think you have to worry about anyone enjoying it."

The comment earned several snickers.

His teeth bared in a scowl, and he took a menacing step toward me. The man looked ready to snap -- my neck, that is. A little tremble worked through me, but I quickl... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Paperback
Jade is a Goth-girl who is a total nonconformist and is a "freak" at her school.

Mercedes is a "Barbie" -- blonde, super-popular, and a total conformist, who is also Jade's mortal enemy.

Clarik is a new mysterious boy that has come to their high school, who Jade quickly realizes she has a crush on.

The girls' principal is sick of these two girls causing problems so she decides to teach them a lesson they will never forget.

After getting the parents' consent, the girls are taken to an old rundown building, strapped down, and sedated. Mercedes and Jade have no idea what is going on, until they wake up at home. They go to school only to realize that everyone has turned Goth and the "Barbies" are the "freaks" now.

The girls don't like their new environment at all and are determined to find out how to get back to reality. Clarik is in the game with them and he and Jade become very close. Can he help get them back? Will they ever get back to the reality they knew? When they get home, will things be the same way they were before, or will the girls have to change?

This is a super-fun, fast-paced novel that even someone who would be called a "Barbie" can like! The characters are all lovable, and I really enjoyed this book!

Reviewed by: Taylor Rector
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 33 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining. July 20 2007
By Betty - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I thought the book was cute. The plot was interesting. However, while reading the book I got a sense that the author did not quite understand the Goth subculture. To me it felt like she just went on Google and searched the word "Goth" and used whatever she found as a reference. An example of this would be how Jade kept referring to other Goths as cemetary Goth, asian Goth, and etcetera. In real life most Goths are not that easy to pin point. Most are rather varied in their interests and would fall under many different categories. I was also annoyed at how cheesy and cliche some of the Goths in the virtual world were. For instance, one girl walks up to Jade and says "Darkness rules!". Being a Goth myself I know for a fact that in real life a Goth would not say that to another Goth unless they were joking. I was also annoyed when one girl asked Jade to start a black magic club. Oh come on! Now, if she would've wanted a Peter Murphy or Siouxsie Sioux fan club then that would've been better. It would've been cool if the author could have slipped a few references to bands like Bauhaus, The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission UK, and Sex Gang Children in the book. Also, I think it would've been entertaining to see some new classes added to the virtual high school. Classes like Goth Rock Music History, DIY 101, and Proper Make up Application. Overall this is a very cute book. I would recommend renting it from your local library if you are bored and need something to do.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Eh... May 1 2008
By Steph - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm so surprised that I'm writing a negative review of this book. When I first got Oh My Goth, I thought it'd be one of those books that I'd recommend to all my friends. The premise was great! I mean--here's to showing everyone is human on the inside and labels/appearances should not be the defining factor of a person or their worth.

And then...

Well, first off, we get this huge contradiction right at the opening. Each chapter is prefaced with a blurb from Jade's private journal--here's the first one:

"When people look at me, they automatically assume I'm dark and weird. Why can't they see the truth? I'm just a girl, trying to find my place in the world."

I thought, Okay, we're off to a great start. This character has strong likeable potential. But then the narrative began. Three paragraphs down the first page and we've got:

"Honestly, I'd rather be anywhere else. Even home, where my dad begins almost every conversation with, "You should lose the black clothes and wear something with color." Puh-lease. Like I want to look like every Barbie clone in Hell High, a.k.a. Oklahoma's insignificant Haloway High School. Ironically, Dad doesn't appreciate the bright blue streaks in my originally blond/now-dyed-black hair. Go figure. That's color, right?"

So, Jade complains about being judged based on her appearance, but here she is doing the exact same thing. Is it any wonder people think that about her?

The book went on. Some passages were funny in a teen-angsty way. Others were bland. But mostly, my thoughts went elsewhere while I was reading. By the last page, I didn't care what Jade did, what the book's message was, or even how it ended. I won't say I was happy that it ended. I wasn't. I wanted to like this book. But I didn't and here's why:

Jade was impenetrable. I couldn't figure her out or relate to her at all. In fact, I thought she was highly superficial, which is not something I want from any character, especially one I'm reading about in a first-person narrative. I'll even go so far as to say this book was superficial. It meandered along the surface, never really digging deep enough for me to get any substance. Some passages were unbelievably contrived, like the ones describing all the types of goths there are and how they dress, like it's one big institution. Is this what this girl considers being a noncomformist? Comforming to the "norms" or noncomformity???

Which brings me to my next point. Jade "expresses her individuality" because her mother, at the exact moment before crashing with another car and dying from the collision, told her to always be herself, no matter what. And now Jade thinks she has to be unlike everyone else to be herself. Someone please tell this girl that dressing differently doesn't make you original.

Overall, didn't like the main character; thought the book's message was botched; didn't care much about about anything that happened. I had hoped this book would've gone to say something about how a person's essence is more important than their outer shell. It didn't. It focused exactly on the opposite, which makes it pointless.

Rating: 3/10
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged? March 7 2009
By Tez Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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, hypocrisy, 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-conformist, 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, piercing and make-up; 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 hard-working (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 in basically one sitting.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3 1/2 stars June 13 2008
By Jessie Potts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I love Gena Showalter and have been a fan of her adult books for years.
I currently picked up Oh My Goth on a whim at a used bookstore and it was well worth my 4.95

At first the story was way to cliché. Saying Fright instead of cool? Discussing the 'types' of Goth? I mean surely no teen would want to read something so... well obvious.

But once the girls get transformed into the video game I commend Gena Showalter for her eye to detail, she really captured the situation and I was able to cry and laugh with both Jade and Mercedes.

Having said that this book is a great easy read and should be given a chance past the first few chapters.

I plan on reading her teen alien hunter series next.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Oh My Goth Jan. 3 2009
By Monie Garcia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
From her dying mother's last words seventeen year old Jade Leigh learned that being different sets you apart from the clones of this world. As a result she is friends with a small group of Goths who are considered freaks by the in-crowd, which includes Mercedes, the popular girl with the Barbie clones as friends.

When Jade gets into trouble for the third time in a week, her principal decides that it's time for an extreme intervention and convinces her father to sign a permission slip for what he thinks is a field trip but is actually a virtual reality program designed to teach Jade a lesson.

When Jade wakes up the next morning, things are decidedly different. The whole school has turned Goth and her friends have now become the Barbie clones. To make matters worse they hate her and Jade has become the popular girl. But not only is Jade in the program, Mercedes is too and she has taken Jade's place as the outcast.

With the help of Clarik, a strange new student, Jade and Mercedes struggle to find their way out of the program and back to real life but learn a valuable lesson on the way home.

I thought the book was a cute read with a good lesson for teens but I didn't love it as much as I was expecting to. The writing is good and the characters are typical teens but the virtual reality premise was just a little too weird for me. I wish the switch from Goth to popular girl was accomplished a different way. Maybe a bump on the head a la Wizard of Oz or some magical hocus pocus. I just couldn't get into it being a program when Mercedes and Clarik were also in there with her.

I do recommend the book for teens and young adults but I'd skip it if you're on the fence about picking this one up.