- Alexander, Lloyd — The Black Cauldron
- Anthony, Piers — Letters to Jenny
- Cooper, Susan — Over Sea, Under Stone
- Proulx, Annie — Close Range: Wyoming Stories
- Kincaid, Jamaica — Lucy
- Christie, Agatha — The Unexpected Guest
- Dick, Philip K. — Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
- Cooper, Susan — The Dark Is Rising
- Cooper, Susan — Greenwitch
- Shaffer, Peter — Amadeus
- Anonymous — Go Ask Alice
I didn't post about this yesterday when I finished it because, well, after my breakup with Katie my mind has been elsewhere. But, I did finish it, so on the list it goes so that I don't lose track of what I've been reading.
surrealestate tried to steer me away from Go Ask Alice. If the book weren't relatively short I would have heeded her advice. As it was, knowing I could knock this off in a day or two, curiosity got the better of me. Now I know surrealestate was right, and I urge everyone not to waste your time.
It was clear from the first page that this was not written by a 15-year-old. 15-year-olds simply don't write like this. No, this sounded like a conservative adult male trying to sound like a hip teenage girl. It was painful at times. And there were too many inconsistencies. For example, the protagonists birthday is on September 20. In one diary entry, dated some time in August, she refers to having just turned 15. You're not going to find any 15-year-olds talking about having just turned 15 less than a month before their 16th birthday! And then she writes absolutely nothing about turning 16. Not realistic! Then later in the book a masculine pronoun is used to describe a neutral antecedent. I suppose it's possible a teenage girl might pair up "everyone" with "his," but I think it's far more likely she would use "her" or the oft-misused "their." Too many of the situations encountered in the diary entries seem contrived, as if carefully chosen to scare kids away from drugs. Not only did they seem contrived, they seemed to have urban legends as their source; there was little sense of authenticity, of the author really knowing his subject. And in the end, despite the protagonists every effort to go clean and live a clean life, she dies. The message is clear, experiment with drugs even once and you're hopelessly fucked! I can just see some well-meaning conservative sitting in a cardigan and tie in his den writing this cautionary tale about the horrors of drug use, all smug about doing his bit to defend "the American Way." Laughable.