Thursday, January 31, 2008

While I went into Peter Cameron's Someday This Pain will Be Useful To You with high hopes, I still half-expected to dislike it. Instead I loved it so much I went right out and bought myself a copy. Right from the first page I just knew this book and I would click. It was so dryly funny and sarcastic and the main character James, a hyper-literate teen not sure about starting college in the fall, was very much a more neurotic and self-aware version of me. James uses his words and language as obstacles to keep others at a distance and lives so much in his head that he has a hard time working things out in the real world. Not that I'd know anything about that at all. Ahem.

While I was out sick I re-read Christopher Moore's Bloodsucking Fiends and then its recent sequel, You Suck. Bloodsucking Fiends is still my favorite vampire book and while You Suck had its moments, it didn't have the emotional depth of his last couple of books. Even a lesser Christopher Moore book is still funny and entertaining though, so I had a good time with it. I just wished there was a little more to it.

I couldn't resist the title Tips On Having A Gay (Ex) Boyfriend by Carrie Jones, now could I? The breakup occurs in a small town where everyone knows everyone else's business and nothing stays a secret. And of course, the high school setting heightens the drama. I felt the book tried a little too hard though - like it tried for artsy but came off more as weirdly repetitious. I couldn't fully resist a heroine who drinks Postum though, so I can't say I hated it. I just never found myself fully invested in the story or the characters.

Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian on the other hand, was awesome. It was funny in all the right spots, but tragic and realistic too. You could tell this was a main character and situation close to Alexie's heart. I liked how well-rounded all the characters were, including the rich high school students who could easily have been depicted as racist stereotypes, but instead were given depth and treated with as much understanding as were the residents of the reservation.

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