Saturday, October 6, 2007

Starts and finishes

Just briefly about City of Bones (finished 18 days ago). No surprises at the end, although -- in addition to the inevitable Buffy comparisons, you could add a little Star Wars Luke/Leia thing as well ... if you catch my drift. Mom's in a coma and Dad has his mitts on the cup, so everything's right for the next installment (which is due out next March according to -- City of Ashes).

I'm also nearly finished with another title, Such a Pretty Girl. This is the kind of book that just makes you want to take a bath. Meredith's father raped her three years ago, and -- instead of staying in prison for nine years -- he's returned to the loving arms of his slightly repellent wife because of time off for good behavior. Mom seems determined to act as if nothing has changed, while Meredith knows that he will offend again. And for some reason, she thinks that she must submit to him again so that he will go back to prison and be unable to hurt any other girls and boys. I'm on the last side of the last cassette, which finds Meredith home alone with her father, and ... well, I just want to get it over with. (Would a mother really insist that her 15-year-old daughter -- who testified against her father -- let bygones be bygones?)

The narrator is reading in a kind of white trashy way that doesn't seem to fit the story -- where she and her family appear to be living in (upper?) middle class circumstances in a town on the Jersey shore. Meredith's grandmother is the mayor of this town. The narration makes me think the story is taking place in some trailer park in Mississippi. But I can see how the narrator would have been influenced by the characters' behaviors into thinking that the story takes place there. This is trash fiction, no doubt. There ain't nothin' select about it, to me.

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