Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I don’t think I was your typical teenager. I didn’t have a curfew because I never went out. Or to clarify, I never stayed out late on those rare occasions that I did fly the coop….being to tired to stay past 11. I enjoyed kicking back on Friday nights with the parents to watch a good movie……one from the 40’s or 50’s (I remember watching both An Affair to Remember and Three Coins in the Fountain ith my mother for the first time: us sitting on the couch, both of us swooning at Cary Grant and Louis Jourdan). I also didn’t read your normal teenage literature. Instead of gobbling up V.C. Andrews and other novels popular with my cohort, I read a self-imposed American literature improvement course, and in the course of one summer I made it through the following: The Grapes of Wrath, Sister Carrie, The Octopus, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, The Song of the Lark, Ramona, The Great Gatsby, The Scarlet Letter, and Of Mice and Men to name a few. Is it any wonder then that now, as I reach the end of my twenties, I find myself regressing and re-living my teens?

Lately, I have been reading a lot of young adult literature. Not a huge confession as I always read a lot of YA lit—the stuff is good! Good as in really well written. However, my current reads I would have to sub-classify as “guilty pleasures”. They are books, obviously written for the pre-teen, teenager, and from which, I am deriving too much enjoyment. The first is the Mediator series from Meg Cabot. There is something really addicting with Meg Cabot’s writing. It is so breezy, like a conversation with a friend. So that before you realize it, you have just spent two hours in her company. (This is not a good thing if you are currently a graduate student, and your time instead should be profitably directed towards studying habitat suitability.) The mediator series is about Susannah Simon, “a mediator—a liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees dead people. And they won't leave her alone until she helps them resolve their unfinished business with the living.” And the even better part of the series……she falls in love with a dead guy. Talk about gripping……seriously. I have requested the entire series (6 books) from my library and am waiting in anticipation for the next to arrive. Pathetic.

The other: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. A book about two star-crossed young lovers: a girl and a……vampire. Yes, I read…..and loved….a vampire book. Can a lover of Jane Austen admit that? It seems a bit seditious. The story was very compelling, and I would highly recommend the book. The only other vampire book that I have read and also really enjoyed……Robin McKinnley’s “Sunshine.” Completely different but equally addicting. What is so alluring about vampires? Perhaps it is the irresistible attraction that they feel towards the protagonist. Love mixed with the physical craving for their blood.

So, yes, I have been regressing towards my teenage years--reading about supernatural high school experiences like I too was seventeen. Guilty pleasure……most definitely. But not one that I am about to stop any time soon!


yola said...

Nancy gave us some really good advice in her class: NEVER be ashamed of what you enjoy reading (and never show scorn at what your library patrons enjoy reading). At the time she was referring in particular to bodice-ripping romance novels. But I think it applies to everything. We all read for different reasons, we're all attracted to different kinds of stories, some of us will tolerate poorly written books if the story is good enough, some of us refuse to spend time with that kind of writing. So there is absolutely no reason to feel guilty about reading teen lit, especially since the only thing that really separates it from adult lit is (sometimes) the subject matter and perhaps the publisher imprint referring to it as a young adult novel.

Enjoy it -- guilt free! :)

Krilafis said...

I wasn't a normal teenager either. Having been forced to grow up incredibly fast, I spent most of my time tending my 8 brothers and sisters and being the soccer mom my own mother couldn't be as she spent two years finishing school to bring home the bacon.

Any free time I had, I used to watch any old movie I could get my hands on. I read everything that came into my house including the economist as well as the cereal box on the kitchen table. Movies like Midnight Lace and Rear Window were the only things that excited me and all of my dreams were in black and white. Not kidding.

I completely understand the regression and I am not sure I would call it that. I bounce from re-reading J.M Barries Peter Pan to Persuasion to the Encyclopedia. Its a matter of taste: eclectic.

Twilight, Mediator, and you are amazing. End of story.


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