tag: booking mamalizzie skurnickmadeline l'englering of endless lightshelf discoveryteen fictionya

November 2009

must we twilight-ify everything?

For the Shelf Discovery challenge, some of us will be reading (and re-reading) Flowers in the Attic, that classic of incest and being locked in an attic. When I first read this book at age 11 (yes, I know this was probably too early), this is what the cover looked like:

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But now there’s a new cover, and it looks like this:

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Look, I love Twilight, but does everything need to look like it now? I was cool with the Wuthering Heights makeover because it seemed like it’s goal was to bring Twilight fans to the classics, a very worthy cause. But though Flowers in the Attic could be considered a love story, I just don’t know how I feel about it. At least there’s four flowers to represent the four children, though.

And at least it isn’t this:

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I’m sorry, that’s just a little too lovey-dovey for a story about incest. Flowers in the Attic is not the inspiring romance that this cover might lead someone to believe it is.

What do you think? Is it time to stop putting wilting roses and shiny apples on book covers? And is there anyone else out there who got in trouble for reading Flowers in the Attic in school and passing it to all their friends?

December 2009

shelf discovery challenge #1: a ring of endless light

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It’s finally time for our first Shelf Discovery Challenge Post—A Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L’Engle.

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When I was younger, I read A Wrinkle in Time twice. The first time was on my own, and I’m a little ashamed to say I hated it. There was too much fantasy, too much science. The second time I read it was in my sixth-grade English class, and with the help of my teacher, I was able to focus more on the characters and the bonds among the family, and I enjoyed it more. But not enough to ever consider reading another L’Engle book.

Book Club Girl was horrified by this. They’re not all that fantastical, she told me. There’s lots of romance in this one, she told me. So I chose A Ring of Endless Light as my first shelf discovery pick—but cautiously. And now I’m still amazed by how much I loved, LOVED this book.

A Ring of Endless Light is like A Wrinkle in Time crossed with Boy-Crazy Stacey (the babysitter’s club book.) It’s the story of Vicky, a teenage girl spending the summer in a small waterfront community with her family, navigating life, death, and three different boys. She also talks to dolphins, something that would normally be an intense turn-off for someone like me. Yet the writing was so beautiful, and Vicky so compelling and realistic, that I was able to suspend my disbelief and just enjoy it.

The word that comes to mind most when I think about A Ring of Endless Light is “refreshing.” I tend to read books about crazy, messed-up families, and it was lovely to take a break and read about a family that loves and supports each other, even while struggling with illness and tension and jealousy. I want to be a member of the Austin family!

I’m now eager to read the rest of the books about them. So as far as I’m concerned, this shelf discovery challenge has already been a success!

(And please note that I did NOT read it with this terrible cover. The only other one I could find online was a poster for the disney channel movie featuring mischa barton.)

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