Friday, November 18, 2011

Dark Days

It's been another one of those weeks. Just generally depressing, where I barely manage to crawl my way to the weekend, feeling like I've only just escaped the jaws of doom. You think I'm kidding.

However, there is no way I'm turning this post into another, dad-dubbed, "mopefest."

[Then again, he is the one who refuses to kill the giant, man-eating spiders in the garage, and pokes fun at me when I've realized that one of them has suddenly disappeared, so maybe he just generally thinks people should deal with their own problems. Which is why I'm going to hide one of said spiders in his bed. (Jk, Dad.)]

Instead, I'm going to spend my time singing the praises of a truly great book.

Flashback to seventh grade. Ignore my icky hair, and the uniform we were forced into every day: focus on the book in my hands. Any given day, it would have been one of two: Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty, or Meg Cabot's All-American Girl. I read these two books, back to back, almost all the way throughout that particular school year (yes, people noticed; no, I didn't care.)

Flashback to eighth grade. Ignore the fact that my hair looks even worse, and that I'm wearing the same baggy school sweatshirt every single day. Instead, take a peek into my soul, into the bookshelf in my heart, and see which space is rather conspicuously empty.

During the summer between seventh and eighth grade, I had lost Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty. It had remained missing ever since... until last year, at Thanksgiving, when a large bag of books returned from my cousin's house had yielded the evidence of my one time "loan," that ended up lasting over three years. Consider the hole filled. However, my previous paper love had shriveled, into what I assumed was merely a schoolgirl infatuation. I had grown older, and known much more impressive, daring, classic books, than a young-adult yarn, about a secret Order of girls who could work magic.

Having to endure the rather unhappy past few weeks, filling out college applications, and scholarship applications, and just feeling older than I should, I was missing the vigor of my childhood. I haphazardly rifled through the contents of my bookcase to find suitable material, and just as I was reaching for my copy of The Phantom Tollbooth, I knocked this one off the shelf, onto my foot. What a painful, happy accident.

I relearned my love. This book really affected me as a kid, simply because it was filled with strong, smart heroines, who all grew up feeling repressed, desperate to find a way to control their own lives. They're all just trying to figure life out, trying to find a way to make their own way. I got that then, and I get it now.

I'm serious. It's just a great book. Read it. Preferably as soon as possible.

[Disclaimer: Take into account I am a girl. An occasionally girly girl. Quite often, a very romantic girly girl. This book would typically be classified as a "girl" book. So, if you are a guy, a guy's guy, you may not understand why I like this book so much. Just sayin'.]

But really. I really love it. I have all of the rest in the series, too.

However, you can bet that I'm never lending them out to anyone ever again.

#12. Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty (Delacourte Press, 2003). Red-headed, spirited Victorian-era young lady, Gemma Doyle, is forced to move to London, and keep her magic and secrets hidden, after the murder of her mother.

1 comment:

  1. That spider, the size of a golf ball, which hangs from the garage door is in itself a "great and terrible beauty". However, I will move it to a happier place over the fence if you remind me.