Thursday, May 18, 2006

Plastic Fantastic/Be More Chill

I really wanted to like Simon Cheshire's Plastic Fantastic (2006), if only for the cover. British teenage boy stuck in an elevator with his favorite pop star. Students love books about rock and roll (or whatever they're calling it these days), and an exploration of the downside of being a pop star sounded great. Most books on the topic contain too much profanity and inappropriate (Guitar Girl), and this one didn't, but it also failed to portray enough of the lifestyle and was more concerned with the social malfunctions of the teen boy, told in flashbacks. Just didn't quite hit it. Will stick with Triana's Back Stage Pass.

Ned Vizzini's Be More Chill (2006) also looked promising but ultimately failed. This is more a function of my advanced age-- the quick-paced narrative makes it very clear that the author is 23-- and my prudishness when it comes to pointless vulgarisms. This story of a geeky teen boy who longs for a popular girl to such an extent that he swallows a squip ( a supercomputer that communicates with his brain and instructs him on how to be cool) would be very popular at a public library, but the casual references to sex and the drug taking make it something I don't want to hand to someone.

When did pointless vulgarism become artistic?

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