Sunday, March 8, 2009

What'd I read this week?

Just a coupla things:
Kendra by Coe Booth
Not surprisingly, I really liked this book. Kendra's mom had her when she was 14 and left her to be mostly raised by her own mother while she went to college, and then grad school. Kendra's spent her whole life waiting for her mom to finally finish school and come home and be her mom. It's painful to read. Meanwhile, the grandmother is determined that Kendra won't end up in the same situation her mother did, even though at 14 Kendra has no plans to have sex or be that kind of girl. Until the opportunity actually comes up and complicates things. It all kind of reminded me of me, though the circumstances of my growing up have little in common with Kendra's. It's just that her coming-of-age story, and the characters and relationships (even the minor ones), are so true and well realized that they kind of become universal.

(Trying read it back to back with Virginia Euwer Wolff's This Full House for a couple versions of what happens when a smart girl has a baby too young and has to make hard choices between her own life and her child's.)

Be More Chill, Ned Vizzini
Meh. Hopeless dork pays good money for a swallow-able mini-computer that instructs him on how to be cool. Then he gets popular-ish and has some success with the ladies, except that the lady he wants isn't as cool as the one the computer's trying to score for him. And so on. Valuable lessons are learned. It's ok...and I liked it more than It's Kind of A Funny Story, so that's something.

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