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"You fooled me once, but that news is old. I swear to shun you, Fool's Gold!"
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Fool's Gold is an OEL Manga series written and illustrated by Amy Reeder Hadley and published by Tokyopop.

The story follows Penny, a sophomore in high school who has come to the conclusion that All Girls Want Bad Boys, and she wants to fix this.She proposes that the reason girls are attracted to jerks is because the jerks are pyrite, or fool's gold: they look nice on the outside, but they're not really worth any girl's attention. Penny starts a club dedicated to identifying the pyrite in her school and then shunning them by having all club members swear not to date or associate with them. But when she labels a boy a pyrite a little too quickly, she's caused a lot of confusion as it starts to seem that he might not be so bad.

The series spans three volumes, the first two of which have already been published. Hadley has stated that the third volume is finished, but Tokyopop has no plans to release it at this time.

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Hadley's official site can be found here.

No relation to the movie starring Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson.


This series contains examples of:

  • Actual Pacifist: Blake.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Penny makes it her mission to defy this trope and help other girls to do the same.
  • Alpha Bitch: Hannah has all the makings of a traditional Libby, but is treated fairly sympathetically and is arguably a subversion.
  • Animesque: Doesn't embrace the manga style as overtly as some other OELs, but it's still noticeable.
  • Author Appeal: Author Amy Reeder Hadley has a talent for sewing, as evidenced by the bonus pages by the end of Volume one. As a Colorado native, it's not a surprise that her series would take place there as well.
  • Betty and Veronica: Orion is Betty and Blake is Veronica.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Orion, who appears in the background of every chapter of the first volume but doesn't become important until the end of it.
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  • Black Best Friend: Katie, for Penny.
  • Blinding Bangs: Orion has these until Penny gives him a haircut revealing blue eyes.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Severely insecure Orion becomes a Clingy Jealous Boy once he and Penny start dating.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Penny lampshades this recollecting that her father is a doctor, but her mother died of pneumonia when he was out of town.
  • Cool Big Sis: Penny's aunt, Nicole.
  • Driven by Envy: While Hannah denies it, it’s implied that she’s envious of Penny’s growing popularity, and this motivates her antagonistic actions in Volume two.
  • Education Mama: Penny's dad is a male example.
  • Establishing Character Moment: After being teased for her shoes, Penny gives her offender a snappy comeback and discretely slaps a sticker that reads "idiot" on the back of his shoulder.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Hannah. When Penny continues to assume the worst of her despite her loyalty to the club, she decides to become the bad guy Penny insists on making her out to be.
  • The Fashionista: Played with. Penny states early that she'd like to be a fashion designer when she grows up but some of her outfits come off as Rummage Sale Reject. However it's clear that Penny doesn't follow fashion trends or dress to impress anybody but she wants to express herself in what she wears and she's making some money selling her creations to her classmates.
  • Female Misogynist: Hannah makes half hearted attempts identifying pyrites. When one club member has photographed evidence of a prospective pyrite shoving another girl, Hannah says out loud that she must have done something to deserve it. Later she speculates that Penny started her club to get the best guys all to herself.
  • First Kiss: Penny receives her first kiss from Orion.
  • Genki Girl: Penny.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Penny wears her hair like this in Chapter one.
  • Grammar Nazi: Blake.
  • Hippie Parents: Orion's parents.
  • Hippie Teacher. Penny’s theater teacher, Mrs. Call, is this down to the hairy armpits.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: Chapter one reveals that Penny is short for Penelope, but she prefers to be called Penny.
  • Left Hanging: With the third and final volume in limbo, the ending of Volume two counts as this.
  • Lonely at the Top: By the end of Volume one, the social structure at Monarch Valley High has been completely turned around with Penny on top of the food chain. However, she admits to Katie that since she started the club, their classmates act more like her audience than true friends and she figures it's only a matter of time before they lose interest
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Hannah and Blake seem to be this.
  • Love Triangle: Seeing as the series has pretty strong Shoujo influences, this was guaranteed to show up.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Blake has one after Orion tries to start a fight with him. Orion only manages to give him a small scrape before Penny breaks it up, but Blake curls into a ball and worries he might faint.
  • Missing Mom: Penny's mom died five years prior to the start of the series.
  • Necktie Leash: Penny pulls Blake into a kiss this way.
  • No Name Given: There is a curious lack of last names in this series.
  • Not Good with People: Orion loves plants and animals but is cripplingly shy, so he's a mostly harmless type 1.
  • Only Child Syndrome: Except for Hannah, who has a younger brother, Penny and the majority of her friends and classmates aren't shown to have siblings.
  • Put on a Bus: Katie moves to Kentucky after her dad was laid off. Penny's dad takes time off to visit her sick grandmother in Wyoming.
  • Rich Bitch: Hannah.
  • Satellite Love Interest: After publicly dumping Jake, Katie finds a new boyfriend, Tom, but he doesn't make any proper appearances or have any lines.
  • Serious Business: Mrs. Porter, Penny's geology teacher, takes her subject very seriously, as the class learns on their first day.
  • Shrinking Violet: Orion
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: The point of Penny's club.
  • Slice of Life: The plot and setting have shades of this.
  • Super OCD: Possibly averted as Blake is described in his Tokyopop bio as only "borderline OCD".
  • Tell Me About My Father: Doesn't actually happen, but Penny wishes her father would talk more about her dead mother because she never got the chance to know her.
  • Textile Work Is Feminine: Penny shows several classically feminine attributes, including sewing.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Penny has this viewpoint towards Katie's boyfriend Jake.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In a more mundane example, Blake is so obsessed with proper grammar that he defaces signs that contain sentence fragments to make them grammatically correct. Penny is arguably this with her club.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Jake is shown to be cheating on Katie.
  • Youthful Freckles: Penny.


Alternative Title(s): Fools Gold

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