Mall Goth (Paperback)
September/October 2023 Kids Indie Next List
“I loved this! There are so many little details that early 2000s goth/emo folk will recognize. Liv is a lovely, relatable character who is trying to find herself in a new town and new high school. I will definitely be rereading this one!”
— Katrina Bright-Yerges, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, WI
This is a combined review of Mall Goth & Hockey Girl Love Drama Boy:
"Each of these are on the surface high school relationship drama tales; both protagonists have a fraught relationship with their single mother, navigate the difficulties involved with new friend groups, and general callousness high school can inflict on teens, as well as distant or disinterested fathers. Each also has to endure an adult that proves incapable or unwilling to properly be a caretaker. Furthermore, each is in some way a love letter to, respectively, teen mall culture and gaming, and hockey and drama, and the love both authors have for these shine through, even if in Hicks' case with hockey it is primarily drawn from her partner's experience, and not her own. Where both of these truly transcend is the fact that most of the characters decide to talk about their problems and work through them, rather than jumping to conclusions or making assumptions and bad judgements. These are both sweet and heartfelt, a very refreshing look at high school."--Reviewed by Andrew
Liv Holme is not exactly thrilled to be moving to a new town with her mother. After all, high school can be brutal, even more so when you’re a fifteen-year-old, bisexual goth. But Liv is determined to be who she is, bullies or not. Still, being the new kid and the only out student brings her a lot of unwelcome attention, and Liv flounders in her search for community. The only person who makes time for her is one of teachers, but Liv isn’t sure how to feel about the way he behaves toward her.
Thankfully, she’s found the perfect escape: the mall. Under its fluorescent lights, Liv feels far away from her parents’ strained marriage and the peers who don’t understand her. Amid the bright storefronts, food court smell, and anonymous shoppers, Liv is safely one of the crowd and can enjoy the feeling of calling the shots in her own life for once.
With the help of her suburban refuge, Liv sets off on a journey of self-acceptance and learns to navigate the ups and downs of high school and to recognize true friendship.
Kate Leth is a Canadian author and illustrator working in comics, animation, design, and feelings. A grown-up goth and pop culture devotee, Kate specializes in work for kids and teens. Her comics work includes Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!; Girl Over Paris; Spell on Wheels; and Adventure Time, among others.