Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fairies, Vampires and Native Americans.

Not all in one book!

Read Neil Gaiman's Stardust. Thought I had already, but pulled a complete blank when I had it in my hand. The movie has just come out, and my daughter loved it. When a question about an objectionable passage came up, my daughter didn't recall it, but there it was on page 25. The short but fairly graphic and totally gratuitous sex scene really didn't add anything to the book, which was boring anyway. A little too precious, not much happening, and then that, so I think it's going to the high school. I bought it years ago (at a deep discount) because of the popularity of Coraline, but it only has circulated once or twice, and I don't think anyone ever got all the way through. Argh.

Heather Brewer's The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites also had it's annoying moments, but my vampire fans will adore it. They will adore it because it starts off with two pages that suck you right in (come on, it's early) and there is a lot of gross description of Vlad's donated blood snacks (not much actually biting of people). Decent plot, a bit of bildungsroman, some teen angst, some action and bad guys. Also on the bright side, cool cover, decent title, and a couple of good descriptions. "Vlad's heart sank into his stomach, then squeezed its down his leg and popped out of the hole in his shoe, where it struck the floor and broke". There were a couple others I forget. A solid first book.

My purely adult objections-- trite names, overly precious "this is vampire legend but isn't it wrong/actually right" musings, and the whole Goth thing. Like Vampire Kisses, it was too full of the "I'm Goth and I'm soooo different, just like all the other million of Goth students out there" attitude, although Vlad does mention that he only wishes he could actually join the Goths.

I guess it's a geek thing. If you want to be truly different, go find some day-glo polyester disco shirts. Dress like Laura Ingalls Wilder. Everybody who wants to be different dies his hair black. Maybe it was the cover blurb of the author that alarmed me "Today, Heather can be found writing in her funky, black Happy Bunny jammie pants, dancing under the full moon, devouring every book in sight, and attending renaissance faires in costume (and in character)."

It made me feel sorry for her children.

Man, I'm in a BAD mood, apparently.

The best thing I read last night was Conrad Richter's The Light in the Forest from about 1953. Young boy stolen from the settlers at age four and stolen back at 15, much against his will. There are lots of Indian captive books (I am Regina; The Ransom of Mercy Carter; Wait for me, watch for me, Eula Bee; Indian Captive: The story of Mary Jemison) , and this was especially well done. Everyday life of Native Americans as well as settlers was well covered, but the touching part was the wrenching emotional journey of True Son. He tried to fit back in to the settler life, but just couldn't be happy.

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