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GOTHIC LOLITA by Dakota Lane


A Mysterical Triller

by Dakota Lane

Age Range: 13 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 25th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4169-1396-2
Publisher: Ginee Seo/Atheneum

Atmospherically moody and often confusing, this dual narrative is told from the perspective of two teenage girls: Miya, who lives in Tokyo, and Chelsea, in California. They each are attracted to the Gothic Lolita subculture and to the attitude embraced by its followers. Both have had a tremendous amount of difficulty at home—Miya and her brother live at an orphanage, and Chelsea’s parents split up after the disappearance of her little brother. They have discovered one another through their blogs, and the central question of how exactly their experiences will converge forms a loose basis for the plot. Though the alternating sections are clearly marked with the name of either girl, the stream-of-consciousness writing style makes it hard to distinguish which is actually narrating; there is virtually no difference between their expressive voices. Photographic illustrations add an ephemeral feel, but little else. As the novel progresses, it becomes easier to track the plot, but ultimately this work emphasizes style over substance and its languid pace fails to support its self-proclaimed designation as a thriller. (Fiction. 13 & up)