October reading about High School

I just finished three more Advance Reading copies: I loved Crazy Beautiful for teen readers. The Blonde of the Joke and Goth Girl Rising... not so much.

Lucius and Aurora are a different version of the age-old "perfect girl and bad boy who eventually fall in love" story. What's different? Lucius Wolfe has blown off his own hands in a home chemistry event. What he was doing, and why, don't get completely explained until the end. The realities of prosthetic limbs for growing teens does get explained - thus the painfully obvious metal hooks that Lucius wears instead.

He starts over at a new school for 10th grade, the same time as Aurora Belle (and yes, the names are unimaginative). As she becomes part of the usual popular crowd, she escapes by spending time with Lucius. A gentle love story, and Lucius's emotional rehabilitation, result.


Roller Derby Librarians?

Miss the Younger and I love roller derby. Our favorite team is The Chicago Outfit (one of whom is Miss's hairdresser by day).

So I thank Shushie for noting this CNN.com article in her blog: Tiny librarian is hell on wheels, about Beth Hollis, Ohio reference librarian by day, and her alter ego MegaBeth, roller derby girl by night. Take that, librarian stereotypes!


All Zombies, All the Time

I just finished two entertaining books: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith (author and film producer), and The Zombie Survival Guide, by Max Brooks (author and screenwriter; hmm... I sense a trend here). It's been a slimy pile of fun. Both take the zombie scourge very seriously. Although Brooks didn't mention the infestation of Regency England in his book, I'm sure it was just an oversight in his research.

I enjoyed the way Grahame-Smith interspersed Austen's wit with zombie-stompin' action sequences. Elizabeth Bennet, inseperable from her Katana sword, is as strong as she is smart. I especially loved, when Darcy made his first, insulting proposal, that Liz kicked him into a fireplace. You go, girl! Although Darcy believes her Chinese training was inferior to his family's vaunted Japanese ninja-style training (which Liz debunks by killing said ninjas), he nonetheless admires her ability. He also makes regular double-entendres (blush), which Liz understands (gasp)!

I'm hoping Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, by Ben Winters, will be as well-staged... er, I mean -written.

And then there's The Zombie Survival Guide, a thorough analysis of the long history of zombie attacks, and list of the best weapons and tactics for protection from zombies. The author debunks movie fallacies: machine guns and flamethrowers are NOT practical civilian weapons against zombies, but plain old crowbars and pitchforks work well. He reminds us repeatedly that physical fitness will be our primary weapon in escaping zombie attacks.

Brooks goes on to provide practical advice (and encourage well thought-out planning) for surviving a world potentially overrun by zombies. I think this book might serve well for surviving other apocalyptic world events, as well.


Twilight Convention

Yes, for all my avid Twilight readers, you have your own local conference now: www.creationent.com/cal/twilight_il.htm October 2-4, 2009

And, just for fun, a musical spoof of the Twilight movie, by The Hillywood Show.