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Oh My Goth Review
Jade Leigh- The main punk goth girl who values her individuality above anything else. She hangs out with her group of other goth friends who value just the same thing. After losing her mother at a young age, Jade lives with only her father and has a history of getting into trouble.
Mercedes Turner- The main popular girl who enjoys making sure Jade's high school life is a living hell. Being an effortless gorgeous person, Mercedes takes excessive pride in her appearance and following the 'in' crowd and being the 'it' girl.
Clarik- A boy who doesn't fit in any clique. He doesn't dress strange like Jade but his attitude doesn't fit Mercedes world either. With his mysterious aura surrounding him, Jade feels attracted to him yet Mercedes tries to ruin that because it's Jade.
Erica- Jade's cyber goth friend, loves anything futuristic.
Robb- Jade's vampire goth friend, wears plastic fangs most days.
Linnie- Jade's cemetery goth friend, she loves tombstones and dead roses.
Gena Showalker's 'Oh My Goth' focuses on teenage goth girl Jade Leigh and experiencing her life being flipped upside down. Having a tendency for getting in trouble, Jade's record had found her a ticket to a special kind of punishment. After a fight with Mercedes, both girls find themselves in an abandoned building strapped to steel tables as doctors work on them to enter a virtual reality.
Showalker's book takes a common story and amps up the intensity by adding a sci-fi aspect with the experiment of virtual reality. Her characters go on a life twisting, mind altering journey of learning about the other's struggles. In this new world, Jade is the popular girl as her classmates are all goths. Mercedes has taken Jade's place among the freaks with her peppy appearance with Jade's old friends who lost their goth side.
This story expresses the moral of 'walk in the other person's shoes'. Mercedes has to trudge through her virtual life as a freak in the school that was at her heels before. She becomes jealous of Jade in this world when Jade would willingly give up this new found popularity if she could. Showalker creates tension and suspense with this common teenager problem of learning of each other's perspectives.
As the days pass and nights fall, the two girls begin to doubt ever being able to go back to their normal lives. They tried to accept their new lives by officially switching places yet making them equally miserable. Yet behind the scenes was a familiar face working. Secrets were uncovered in this fake world made for these two and, although for the better, brings pain to the both of them. Jade uncovered that Clarik was watching the girls as they progressed into working with each other to get home, angering Jade into nearly giving up. In the end, Mercedes and Jade made a final statement by switching up their appearances to fit into the worlds they knew they belonged to and woke up from the virtual reality.
Showalker wrote a story crafted to teach the reader about treating someone different with respect. The author re-invented the saying 'Treat others how you want to be treated' with a strong twist of sci-fi. With a strong female role and quirks among the characters, 'Oh My Goth' is a book for more than just the strange and unusual teenager. This novel educates, informs, and entertains the 'normal' reader as well. Showalker has published a well written moral based story that appeals to many readers and can aid new black clad teenagers out of their shells.