December 30, 2011

comfort reads

To close out 2011, I made myself read The Descendants (and in a short-sighted attempt to get my Dad out of the house, invited him to watch the movie - thank God he declined), and even took a few bites out of We Need to Talk About Kevin before throwing in the literary towel and hitting the '90s young adult trash - hard. Scott and I moved in upstairs as soon as my mom got back from the hospital, and lo - musty, dusty boxes filled with SVH books still haunt the corners of the room that went from guest mini-suite to kids' playroom to storage room to guestroom again. I dug the Wakefield twins out of their dusty YA grave, borrowed a flashlight, and that's how I've been getting to sleep these past few bewildering weeks, when the last hours of each day leave a person with not much more to think about than the sadness behind you and the tough days ahead. I've said it before and I'll say it again ... there is no salve like the salve of Sweet Valley. Each installment is like marshmallows floating in your cocoa. Small, puffy, easily swallowed, and forgettable.

Last night's pick: Super Star #1: Lila's Story. SIAS: Spoiled daughter of an old-money tycoon stops her father's ill-fated wedding to a social climbing b*tch, falling in and out of love with a typical Sweet Valley jerk along the way. I drifted off to sleep wondering - 1) How did an idiot like George Fowler manage to stay so wealthy? and 2) Did I ever believe these stories were remotely plausible? ... but really, that's the point of this junk binge. Right now I'm choosing books that let me escape. The Descendants was wonderful, but it was too familiar - nitty gritty Hawaii, from the ocean to Queen's Hospital. Two surly kids and a grieving husband. I am glad I read it - it was like submerging myself into icy morning North Shore water - a cutting, deep cold, a feeling you can't ignore - but with relief afterwards I turned back to the shallow warmth of Calico Drive and the pleasantly simple problems of pleasantly simpleminded teenagers.

The ever-fabulous Vickie gifted me with my very own Kindle(!!!) this Christmas, and thoughtfully loaded it with SVH and the millenium's answer to it - Pretty Little Liars, Vampire Diaries, etc. - I am set! Cub's ecstatic - he has always thought I should own a Kindle, so marvelously earth-friendly - and friendlier still toward this space-challenged couple and our humble, cluttered abode. I did warn him that e-reader ownership doesn't eliminate the need for page-turning action and/or bookstore smell. But now maybe I can part with some of my old volumes. Still a victory, in his eyes.

Hopefully soon I'll dig myself out from under the soft, fluffy rubble and pick up We Need to Talk About Kevin again. Or finish the Hunger Games trilogy - I left off at the beginning of Catching Fire. For now, though, I'm totally content to hide out in Sweet Valley ... hopefully all the literary cotton candy I'm consuming won't rot my mind too badly.

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