If you are reading this blog, chances are pretty fucking good that you read a lot as a teenager. And that you have some weird desire to relive those teen years through the books you’ve read. When I started this blog back in August 2008, I’d never heard of Lizzie Skurnick. Never heard of Jezebel.com or her Fine Lines column on Jezebel. I read a review of this book earlier in 2009, and had it given to me at work (Thanks Secret Santa!)
God. This is what I originally wanted my blog to be. Short, funny, incredibly clever essays on the books that I, and countless others, read and reread ad nauseum. But it didn’t turn out that way, mostly because I’m not nearly as funny or clever as Lizzie Skurnick (Though I do try my hardest).
Here’s what the fabulous Ms. Skurnick has to say about Lois Duncan’s A Gift of Magic:
For Lois Duncan, A Gift of Magic is….all the more [striking] for eschewing the trademark of her many other beloved novels (namely being fucking terrifying).
Or what she says about Norma Klein’s protags:
Klein’s characters are far harder to pin down as the enemy. Simply put, they’re nice, smart, appealing kids and they’re interested in the idea of sex not only for its own sake, butalso to get a sense of how it should fit into monogamous, loving relastionships. It’s kind of hard to fault them for that. (Though many would try.) There’s only one problem. In the midst of all this philosophical sexual rumination, the darn kids keep having it.
One of the best parts of this book? For years I’d been trying to remember the name of a book about a girl in the 1930’s who lives with her two Aunts and finds out some kind of secret about her mother. I couldn’t remember the girl’s name. I couldn’t even remember what the secret about her mom is. But Lizzie Skurnick did. And now, when I go to used book stores, one of the books that I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for is Secret Lives by Berthe Amoss.
Long story short: this book is great. Five stars, two thumbs up and all that shit. Go. Now. Read.