Tuesday, December 27, 2011

We Are Young

Well, ladies and gentlemen, we're trapped in the thick of Winter Vacation, and I'm running out of Swedish fish.

I am not, however, running out of things to do. Now that we're past Christmas, and I've taken the time to play with my new toys, I'm back to work, finishing up our APChem Break Assignment, as well as working for this blog, thinking up all of the good intentions I'm going to start 2012 with, and staring listlessly at the prompt for an APEng essay I really don't want to write. Plenty of Sara Bareilles and Kate Nash is playing in the background, and I'm debating the effectiveness of clove chewing gum.

Winter Break really should just go on indefinitely. I'm never this productive during school.

Anyways, I've currently been occupying my time in the 1920s, between the pages of Jillian Larkin's fabulous Flappers series. The first two books, Vixen and Ingenue (Delacorte Press, 2010 and 2011, respectively), were simply spontaneous decisions, from the store and the library, respectively, and their stories have proven to be just as exciting. They follow the lives of society darling and flapper-in-training Gloria Carmody, her best friend Lorraine Dyer, as well as Gloria's secretive cousin Clara Knowles, from Chicago to New York, from private academies to the sleaziest speakeasies. The series totally reads as a dishy, bubbly soap opera, seriously popping with drama. The suspense builds as each girl's story is told alternating by chapter, and each flapper comes with her own problems. While some points proved predictable, you'll never guess what sort of a showdown all these secrets are leading to.

One of my favorite aspects about the books was the time period. The 1920s were easily one of the most interesting periods of American History, and I love reading about them. Vixen and Ingenue evoke an era, much like Anna Godberson did with her YA Luxe series, set in turn-of-the-century New York (and coincidentally enough, Godberson also just came out with a series set in the 1920s, called Bright Young Things). The language, the fashion, and the society rules set on display in these books really did hearken back to the glittering past.

Larkin also did well with her complex and varied female cast of characters (I make the distinction in gender because it seemed as though the men were sort of ignored or only used as romantic interests, serving as only a set of lips to kiss). Gloria, Lorraine, Clara - and later on, Vera- all made for compelling characters who you could both hate, as well as root for. Even secondary stars like Maude, Leelee, and Coco, were fun to read. They are by no means role models, but they certainly are like real personalities.

So that's what I've been spending my time reading. Unfortunately, Larkin's next book, Diva, doesn't go on sale until some point in 2012, so I may just have to start swimming in the symbolism of Fitzgerald to get my flapper fix.

#18. Jillian Larkin's Vixen (Flappers #1)

#19. Jillian Larkin's Ingenue (Flappers #2)

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