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Idiot Control Now
bees on pie, burning rubber tires
moving the goalposts
Oops. Four books in July, plus one manga.

Midori by Moonlight by Wendy Nelson Tokunaga
How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson
Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

Dengeki Daisy v10

Midori reminded me of a reverse Ramen Girl, except Ramen Girl was good. I think we were supposed to see Midori as spunky, but she just seemed kind of dumb to me, and the amazing string of coincidences at the end were just too much to believe.

Love of Reading was actually one of the best books I've read in a while. It reminded me a lot of Special Topics in Calamity Physics. Except the ending of Calamity Physics was really disappointing. I'm very rarely satisfied with endings, not because I'm sad the book is ending, but because I'm like, "That's it? That's how you're going to leave it?" I think that's why I've never finished anything I've written, because endings just never live up to the potential. And in this book, you see the ending coming, so it makes sense, even though I was sitting here thinking, "Hunter, dude, did you not read Ethan Frome? This never works!"

I mostly appreciated Carley's "Just tell me a story" attitude, and it represented why even an avid reader like me hated English class in school. Dissecting a book into green lights and Christ figures and pearls of great price sucks all the life out of the story. Just tell me about these people and what happens to them. That's all I want in a book.

Arranged kind of collected everything bad about chicklit in one book. Interesting premise, unengaging execution. A female lead who wasn't very sympathetic, and a male lead who was kind of a tool (and when another character says this, I think we're supposed to not agree with her, except I did, so... what?) And characters in chicklit almost always fall in one of three professions: writer/journalist/publishing, lawyers, and fashion. None of these are that interesting and have basically become shorthand for what kind of personality we're supposed to extrapolate: the writers are deep and emotional, the lawyers are analytical and combative, the fashion people are conceited and flighty. And it's why "write what you know" doesn't work, because your life just isn't that fascinating to anyone who isn't you. And if you're going to have a character be a writer and have everyone say what a great writer he is, the sample of his writing you provide sure as hell better back that up.

The Chaperone I really wanted to like, and I did parts of it, but I started to feel like she was just throwing in every social issue she could, and it took on an almost lecturing tone. I hate that. Even when I agree with the view being presented, I hate feeling lectured about it. Just tell me a damn story! And I'm tired of marriage being presented as unfulfilling in fiction. It's like everyone's so afraid to write about a happy couple, or feel that there's no drama to be mined from a functional relationship. So it comes across as "Isn't it a shame that society forced these nice people to hide their adultery!" Um... no? That's the choice they made. Maybe if I'd been provided with any sort of emotional connection to their situation instead of contrived circumstances for the sake of Making A Point About How Society Today Is No More Progressive Than It Was 100 Years Ago, maybe I could have at least had sympathy for them.

Tolstoy wrote that happy families are all alike and unhappy families are unhappy in their own ways. That's just not true. Unhappy families are all unhappy in the same way, at least in fiction, and it's become such a cliche that I see why D exclusively reads nonfiction. It seems like nobody's bothering to say anything new in fiction.

To end on a positive, I'm still loving Dengeki Daisy. It makes me happy. I love Riko.

Current Mood: disappointed disappointed
Current Music: starlight--muse

justify your existence