Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ranting and some reviews

Yes, I read Breaking Dawn. Meyer may not be a great writer but she spins a story that can hold your attention. I devoured the book pretty fast but I have lots of quibbles with it. Avoid the next few spoints if you want to avoid spoilage.

1. Creepifying conservative agenda marketed to teens. Messages I picked up from this book - Teen pregnancy is good. Abortion is bad even if the baby will KILL you. Marriage at 18 is a good idea - no way you'll change your mind when your older.

2. In a continuation of the creepifying conservatism, there are absolutely no same sex couples in this book. This is something I may not have noticed except there are like a bazillion couples in this book. A bazillion and not a one of them gay.

I realize this book is fiction. I could ignore all this if I wasn't pretty horrified at this being marketed to teens. I love teen books that take on hard topics. This however seems to spoon feed teen girls some alarming ideas about life and relationships and personal choices. One of my nieces is reading this story. It is a fun read and all, and I'm all for just reading for fun. However, I shall be sending my 15 year old niece some smarter YA books and taking some time to call her up and discuss the book with her some. I'm curious if any of the creepyness was at all noticeable to her or if its something that only stands out to worried twenty-something liberal feminist aunts of 15 year old nieces.

All spoilage done.

Instead of the Meyer books, I will happily be sending my niece a way smarter YA book called Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes. The characters are interesting and avoid stereotyping. The main character, an awkward and overweight teen, is best friends with a girl with horrible burn scars on her face and hands. Their friendship is born of their equal standing as outcasts. Really really good read! Funny and moving and multi-dimensional.

I like reading Dan Savage's personal anecdotes. He's funny and his book The Kid is one of my faves. However in Skipping Towards Gomorrah, there are too few anecdotes and too many political rants. While I agree with a lot of what he says, I had to skim the rants. I don't need any convincing just more laughing.

I watched Stagedoor on Netflix the other night. Its all about a camp for kids who want to be actors. The instructors are pretty unintentionally hilarious. When they interview the kids though, its pretty easy to see the awfulness that is being a teenager. All that awkwardness makes me cringe for the kids who appear in this.

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