Let’s Get Lost

“It’s always tempting to lose yourself with someone who’s maybe lost themselves.” – Angela Chase, My So-Called Life.

You have to like a book that quotes My So-Called Life, and if you don’t know what that is – go find the DVDs.

The thing is I am a character reader, I find it hard to like a book if I don’t like the main character. And Isabel is completely unlikable. You don’t even have enough empathy to give her a pass, but she is completely and utterly unlikable. A trait she is completely aware of and cultivates. She has gone from bullied to bully, and prides herself on being the Queen of Mean. The way I see it, school os like one of those documentaries on the Discovery Channel. It’s maul or be mauled.

At times I had to put this book down because Isabel is just horrible.

So why keep reading?

Because it is Sarra Manning, because I loved Guitar Girl (and Molly has a cameo), because despite not liking Isabel, I found myself rooting for her and wondering when she was going to figure it out, because whatever happened it had to be horrible (and this may be where the ending may have let me down, not sure yet.)

And despite her nastiness, Isabel can be really funny. I mean, God, would it have killed Henry James to use a comma, or like, a period occasionally? Who hasn’t thought that upon trying to read Henry James.

And then there is Smith and maybe making love was the same as being in love. It isn’t. And that will be just one of the many lessons Isabel learns, because it turns out she doesn’t really like being the Queen of Mean, and Smith gives her a chance to learn that.

So I have treated myself after reading Nikolai’s Fortune (which had some of the most fertile women in literature – they were always getting pregnant) and now I have to read for a review. But first I might try to watch a few episodes of Heroes – is it worth watching?

I promise a non chick lit post next time – really.


Mind Candy

Having spent last weekend in Chicago discussing Web 2.0 in school libraries, while reading both No Great Mischief, and Cross X. I was ready for some mind candy this weekend. No Great Mischief is a wonderful book, sparse and beautiful, its depth revealed simply. And Cross X is a large tome on high school debate, race, corruption in public education, and a whole host of serious topics. I enjoyed them both but my brain needed a rest. So besides catching up on tv – I love tivo- I read mind candy.

I started with Cheating at Solitaire by Ally Carter, which is solid chick lit romance. I liked Julia James the decidedly single self help author. She didn’t annoy me like other twenty something whiney chick lit romance heroines do. Mostly because I at least related a little to her whining since it was all about her career being over, ignoring the obviously hot and available guy living unexpectedly in her house. I mean he was ruining her career – how dare he?!? It was completely predicatable but a comfortable read.

Also predictable was Patricia Cornwall’s Predator. I’ve been reading the Kay Scarpetta books for years and to be frank, I am not sure why I keep reading them. I hate the direction she has taken the characters, I don’t really find them likable. And the mysteries have become predictable, hardly ever surprising me. For the last 3 books I have been wondering why I keep reading the series, and I am not sure I have an answer, although it is mind candy for me – something I don’t really have to work at. So do you keep reading series, long after you are really interested in them? What makes you give them up?

PS: I am noticing this doesn’t display well in Explorer – sorry, but I also have to shrug at that fact.