Thursday, August 13, 2009

i couldn't help myself, part two...

i gobbled up perfect fifths like a person starved! i'm not kidding...

let me tell you about jessica darling and i... she and i met on a trip i was making from nashville back to idaho falls a few years ago. you see, flying into idaho falls isn't very easy because there are just a few flights a day that come into our little airport. so in addition to all of the plane changes from tennessee, i had a 5 hour layover in my least favorite city in the WORLD--salt lake!! luckily, i had thought ahead and packed several books. i saved sloppy firsts for last because i wasn't sure about it. on a last minute whim, i plucked off of the shelving cart as i was walking out of the library the week prior. it had a bright cover, and i thought what the hell... how bad can it be?! all it had to do was distract me from all that is SLC.

um... distract? how about absorb, fascinate, grip, bewitch, captivate, charm, enchant, hypnotize, mesmerize; monopolize... (yes, i can use a thesaurus) whatever, megan mccafferty had me--i was lost in new jersey with jessica. jessica... my kindred literary spirit. i think there are books where people can identify with characters--i'm not an elizabeth bennet, scout finch, or even the female equivalent of holden caulfield. sometimes i feel like anna karenina... and that's another story. jessica is snarky. and we all know that's one of my favorite traits in a person, as long as it's not directed to me!

needless to say, i finished sloppy firsts in the wee hours of that monday morning. i had to. i needed to get to work to get second helpings and charmed thirds... who cares about my real life? i was lost in the teen-angst of jessica as she maneuvered thru high school in new jersey and into college in the city, her family, her friends, her lusts and, whatever it was with marcus. oh, marcus... ever yearn for something that is so so so bad?!
ok, that's marcus!

then i had to WAIT! me, yes, me, wait 6 long months for the release of fourth comings {actually, my least favorite of the series} and maybe because i was let down, i fell off the jessica darling radar! and here i am in the in the local bookstore this summer when i saw this cover taunting me because i had no idea it was coming out! i had to buy it for my very own, then and there--as i actually own the whole of the series.

but you might be asking at this point, so what?!
although, i never, ever want to be in high school again, being with jessica wa kind of like being with me.. we both seemed to feel the pressure of friends, the ridiculous heavy weight of virginity, the want to feel that electrified shock from being in the full rush of first love/lust, of parents and looming future of graduation, college, and then what?! toss in the ins and outs, sometimes silence, cryptic communication of the said object of love/lust... it creates a very confused girl. a very confused girl i think almost any woman can relate to, on some level. and as we "grown ups" have survived our teens, we... i... want to see jessica out of the limbo and at peace, happy with {or without} marcus. in perfect fifths (don't you love these titles?!) jessica has been off marcus for almost 2 years and then she runs into him at the newark airport--literally runs into him as she is about to miss her plane. then in her ever-sharp wit, gut-wrenching reality of the situation and on-top-of-it popular culture ways, mccafferty ends the series...

read this series--you will be disappointed, and then not, and then again and then...

i'm not the only one who thinks this series is a gem:
  • “Judy Blume meets Dorothy Parker.”—The Wall Street Journal (this one is my favorite!!)
  • “Jessica offers brilliant and cutting insights into the world of the adolescent about-to-be-a-woman.”—Chicago Sun-Times
  • “Megan McCafferty’s hilarious coming-of-age novels are getting better as Jess gets older. . . . Acidly funny, imaginatively profane and, above all, a sharp reflection of the what-do-I-do-now, postcollege dilemma.”—Miami Herald

oh, and don't ever forget about the greatest showman of the generation... the soundtrack to the books!

Monday, August 10, 2009

i couldn't help myself!

okay, so i didn't put the castaways aside like i said... i just couldn't!

so here is the thing:
  • four sets of couples that are friends.
  • one set dies.
  • affairs arise.
  • infatuations arise.
  • hurt and anger arise.
  • guilty feelings arise.
  • and yet, the six remaining survive... friendships intact.
i didn't want to read this book any further than the point where the affair was revealved because we have these 3 couples that we pal around with, and i didn't want to think about what creepiness is lying, laying (whatever) underneath the drunken flirting and innuendos we throw at each other when we're together. there is room for wandering, fighting, jealousy, judgements and hurt because:
  • none of our marriages are perfect, there are comparisons among husbands--and wives, if i should/could venture a guess...
  • we raise our kids all differently, and we're all critical about each others skill of this to a fault...
  • some of us are more secure financially, some are constantly struggling...

but what this book did to me, is show that i'm so blessed with this family of friends that are so entrenched with me, and i with them, that together we can weather any storm that comes our way. it sounds corny, but don't we all want friends like that?!

so thanks, elin, for writing a book that made me uncomfortable, that sucked me in, and showed me that friends are indeed the family we get to choose! oh, and for making nantucket sound even better than i'd ever imagined...


something else--because i'm feeling extra chatty tonight... as i was over at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'? today, and she got me thinking too! this just pisses me off: why don't people think the books i read/recommend are as good as i said they were... they didn't love them as much as i did! i mean, come on, i am a book peddler. i think i know my stuff... so to answer her questions:
  • Is there a book you don’t understand why others haven’t liked it? yes-- the english patient ... okay, i read this question wrong!! I LOVE THE ENGLISH PATIENT, book and movie... but i can't seem to get into the ever popular harry potters, the lord of the rings trilogy, or the twilight series no matter how people love to tell me i'm wrong!!
  • Have you ever tried to convince others about why they should have like a book? no--because i can't begin to understand what's wrong with this person who disagrees... with ME?!
  • Has someone ever tried to convince you of a book’s merits? yes-- and i have a few things to say about that. (1) i don't like required reading--don't hound me. (2) i don't like fantasy or sci-fi... sorry, i can't wrap my head around it. maybe i'm not as smart as i thought, but please don't hound me about vampires and house gobblins. (3) diana gabaldon... i'm so sorry i resisted you for so long!

and... i've just cracked into the last in the series of Jessica Darling by megan mccafferty--perfect fifths. and marcus flutie still does it for me : )

happy reading!