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Fool's Gold is an OEL Manga series written and illustrated by Amy Reeder Hadley and published by Tokyo Pop. 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.
Hadley's official site can be found here.
This series contains examples of:
- Animesque: Doesn't embrace the manga style as overtly as some other OELs, but it's still noticeable.
- 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.
- 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.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Severely insecure Orion becomes a Clingy Jealous Boy once he and Penny start dating.
- Cool Big Sis: Penny's aunt, Nicole.
- Education Mama: Penny's dad is a male example.
- 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.
- Grammar Nazi: Blake.
- Genki Girl: Penny.
- 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 when she was seven.
- 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 fairly harmless type 1 (mostly).
- Rich Bitch: Hannah.
- 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.
- Shrinking Violet: Orion.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: The point of Penny's club.
- Super OCD: Possibly averted as Blake is described in his Tokyopop bio as only "borderline OCD".
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: In a more mudane 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.