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WIB: Dec 8-14

January 2, 2014

Nostalgia Month in the book club meant that my reads that week were Emily of New Moon (L.M. Montgomery), The Darkangel (Meredith Ann Pierce), and I Know What You Did Last Summer (Lois Duncan).

Nostalgia Month’s theme was “Book in which you first recognized yourself” or “Book you read over and over again.”  For me, both things were Emily of New Moon.  Unlike Anne, Emily seemed quieter, more thoughtful, but also more realistically navigating life and speaking her mind.  Anne said inappropriate things because she was a babbler; Emily said them because they were true and she had no idea they were inappropriate.  On the surface, Emily is pretty much Anne as a Mary Sue: she even has Anne’s desperately wished-for black hair and purple eyes.  But Emily is The Writer (whereas Anne wrote, you know, sometimes), who journals and writes poetry as soon as she is able.

I guess I realize why my younger self was so drawn to Emily, but I don’t see it as an adult.  Not that I don’t still love her–I do, maybe even more than Anne, even if Teddy Kent is utterly dull–but she’s definitely not someone my mother would’ve pointed to and said, “Yep, that’s my kid.”

The book itself stands the test of time.  It’s a good read-aloud in that it has a serialized feeling to it, but a lot of Emily’s typos are adorable and probably shouldn’t be missed.  There are also a few good scares, and something that might be a dash of magic or a bit of coincidence.  And Emily’s pals and possibly romantic interests later in life get a decent amount of page time, especially Perry, who can be hilarious.  Her struggle with her family can be, at times, heartbreaking.

It was really good to go back and read that.

…Unlike with The Darkangel.

Because I don’t even want to give this book any more of my energy, I’m copying and pasting from the book club:

It’s the story of Aeriel, who is a servant to a beautiful girl who is part friend, part mistress, and who goes to rescue the girl when she is taken by the Darkangel, also known as the vampyre, also know as the icarus. That’s a lot of names. She tames the gargoyles, makes friends with his wraith-like former brides, and then, despite all warnings, tries to save the vampyre himself.

Doesn’t it sound great?

But that’s all I remembered. I didn’t remember a lot of really important things. Like, it takes place on the MOON. Yeah, the moon. Like, ages from now. Space ships colonize the moon and then there’s a war on earth, and now everything’s all semi-feudal on the moon. I didn’t remember the garden gnome guy who turns to stone in the sun, and how he pretty much makes everything happen for Aeriel. I didn’t remember her Grand Adventure to save the vampyre. I thought she just, IDK, turned him with love or something.

So it’s a sci fi story, right? On the moon? Post-apocalyptic moon living? Or is it a story of magic, of ghosts and gargoyles, garden gnomes and wraiths and vampyres and vials full of souls and chalices full of life and replacing hearts with other hearts and–SO WHY THE FUCK ARE THEY ON THE MOON?

At one point, she meets this guardian things which seem like they could be engineered, but then one of them has an “immortal hoof” that if you drink from it something something.

MAGIC.

Science.

Magic.

I HATE science in my magic. I hate magic in my science.

Also, all the things I remembered enjoying are covered in, like, twenty pages.

And she happens to know the nurse of the missing child who ends up being a vampyre??

I HAVE BEEN TOLD that hey, Cinder does magic on the moon too, but even then they’re kinda like “the moon changes your physiology, and you can do X and Y,” not have a Bag of Holding and drink from ghost hoof chalices and turn boats into birds or whatever the plot calls for.

Yeah, I didn’t like this one, on reread. Saw that one of my Goodreads friends did, and now I’m wondering–am I missing something? Is she?

MAGIC ON THE MOON, GUYS. SPACESHIPS AND IMMORTAL HOOVES.

So yeah, that.  Ugh.

Finally, I reread I Know What You Did Last Summer, which was a “read over and over” pick by a friend of mine in the book club.  For those who have never read it before, it’s a totally straight thriller/mystery, not horror as the movie adaptation would have you believe.  Four friends leave a concert drunk and high and hit a kid on a bicycle late at night.  They agree to leave him there–some of the group reluctantly, others not so much–and a year later, they start getting creepy notes from someone who claims to know what happened.  As with every good mystery, all the clues are there for you figure out.  Unlike other good mysteries, there’s a psychic character who adds nothing to the story except being psychic (having a bad feeling about things).  Not really sure what Duncan was going for there.  Perhaps a crossover with the horror crowd?

I enjoyed it, although my friend didn’t.

Next up, more books fro childhood revisited and the dreaded Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer, finally.

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