Monday, November 9, 2009

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

I just finished reading The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. This book was up for a Volunteer State Book Award. I am confused about how I feel about this book.
I really like the heroine's insights into boyfriend/ girlfriend relationships in high school. Some examples of great observations include:
"[Lots of girls] are so focused on their boyfriends that they don't remember they had a life at all before their romances, so they don't become upset that their boyfriend isn't interested [in their friends, interests, lives]."
"'He's letting me go,' she told Trish./ 'Letting you? Since when does he let you?'"
"Don't let him erase you."
The story is full of commentary on teenage relationships. I think this is a good story for a girl who is losing her identity in a relationship.
Where I become confused about my admiration for the character is when she infiltrates an all-guys secret society and starts living a life of lies. I still don't quite get her motivation for this. If you read the book, I think she should have just asked the guys (or just Matthew) at lunch one day if they had found the "Disreputable History." If she had done this and nothing more, she would have "show[n] them the tiniest edge of your secret, but the rest you keep under wraps." She would have made the guys feel like they were living in the panopticion.
Finally, I like the discussion of neglected negatives and other random grammar thingies. They made me smile.
Discussion: If someone reads this book, let me know what you think of it. Are you confused about Frankie's motivation as well?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter

I just finished The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter: A Treasury of Myths, Legends, and Fascinating Facts by David Colbert (I don't think he's any relation to Steve...). It was so interesting because it explores the origin of many of the names and creatures in the Harry Potter books.
Unfortunately, it was written in 2001. Can you believe it has been that long since Goblet of Fire came out? That date really didn't sound that old to me when I picked the book off the shelf (I mean, I graduated in 1999 so anything published after that is way fresh, young, and hip, just like me...right?). One example of this book's datedness comes from the chapter entitled 'Who Was the Most Amazing Animagus?": "No doubt Harry, who often pushes himself beyond the usual boundaries, will face this risk [i.e. the risk of taking on the form of an animal]. But first we must wait to learn what sort of Animagus he will become." Dun, dun, dun...suspenseful music plays...still waiting on the answer to this question.
There is a revised edition out there.
Question: Should we purchase the revised edition, or is the time of Harry over in the dawn of Edward Cullen (get my play on celestial words...Twilight, Eclipse, New Moon, Breaking Dawn?)?