Wednesday, November 12

"Bad Kitty" - Michele Jaffe

A weekend in Vegas with my family. How crazy-slash-shocking-slash-dangerous could it be?

Meet Jasmine [1], forensic supersleuth and unwitting victim of a naughty feline.

Her book is:
36% Las Vegas mystery
49% unstoppable crush [2]
15% fashion emergency
100% the cat’s fault [3]

[1] That’s me! Hi.
[2] Is that all you’re going to say about Jack? Aren’t you going to mention him? I mean, other than as a crush? If I were reading this, that’s what I could want to know about. I’m just saying.
[3] That’s it? The. End.? What about the wedding I ruined and Alyson and Veronique’s Crimes Against Fashion and…yes, I know. For the book. Inside. Zipping it.

(yes, those footnotes are intentional.)
My friend gave me this book last Christmas. When I saw it, my first thought was "Huh, a Meg Cabot clone, but probably with inferior humour and a stupid plot." But it was a book. That someone had given me. Of course I was going to read it.
I soon found myself wondering why Michele Jaffe wasn't a lot more popular in the teen chick-lit scene, because I actually found myself giggling out loud more times than I could count. And let me tell you, I am not the kind to actually laugh out loud simply from reading a book, because my sense of humour is rather weird, and the only other author who has succeeded in this quest is Jaclyn Moriarty. Usually I just smile. This book was a crack-up and I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series.
I did have some qualms though. For instance, the plot. The book tries to be a 'mystery thriller', and the narrator, Jas, is an amateur detective who then goes about trying to solve this mystery. However, like so many police procedural TV shows, all the clues suddenly coalesce in the detective's mind during the last five minutes and are wrapped up so quickly you find yourself wondering "Hold on - who was that guy anyway?" In this case, the speech given by our detective in one of the final chapters - you know, the one where she recites all the clues and how the realisation about who the culprit was came to her in a sudden flash of inspiration at the last minute - winds up all the leads in a slightly tangled mess which was quite confusing.
Also, many of the situations and characters veered out of 'deliberately-bizarre-in-order-to-be-humourous' territory into the 'just-plain-ludicrous' category. This applies especially to the final climactic scene where all the lead characters are in big trouble - but of course they get out of it - where everything that occurs is entirely unrealistic and contrived.
But I forgive Michele for these flaws, and for spelling her name with only one 'L', because I understand they tend to be commonplace in this brand of fiction, and also because it was just plain fun to read.
Very silly. Very funny. 4 STARS

Quote by Stephenie Meyer on age limitations for books

Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series, said something in a video interview that I completely agree with. Quote:

“I didn’t make any kind of conscious effort to write an adult novel. For me, those lines are actually kind of irritating. I don’t think there should be a certain section of the bookstore that you can’t go into – a good book is a good book, and if it’s a good book you should read it! Just because it was written so that ten-year-old could enjoy it too, that doesn’t mean that an adult can’t get a whole lot out of that novel. I’m hoping that my books help people cross those lines, that they don’t feel like “Oh well, that book is in a section of the store where I don’t belong.” You belong anywhere a good book is.”

The video can be seen on the page for her novel The Host.

I'm at a slightly awkward age in terms of "where I belong in a bookstore". I'm eighteen, and next year I'll be a uni student, so I'm in that horrible transitory age somewhere in between 'teenage/young adult' and 'adult'. When I go look in the 'teenage' section, I feel too old to be there, and when I look in the adult section, I feel too young. (This could be largely due to my entirely irrational self-conscious tendencies, which make me feel as though everyone is judging me.)

However, being "in transition" is somewhat advantageous: I can still identify with many of the teenage characters in the young adult books, while also enjoying the added sophistication that comes from adult novels. For instance, my guilty pleasure when it comes to books is Anthony Horowitz's 'Alex Rider' series. Since they are written for an intended audience of younger-teenage male readers (Alex is fourteen in the books), I definitely don't fit into the intended demographic. But they're still very entertaining books. Meanwhile, right next to those books on my bookshelf (literally!) sits Michael Crichton's "Next", which is very definitely an adult novel, dealing with complex themes and containing several sexual references.

Hence, I don't really like age barriers. (Although, nevertheless, some books are definitely too adult for younger readers - perhaps books should carry classification ratings in the same way that movies do). I still enjoy teenage novels, even though most people would say I'm too old for them. Why should I be 'too old' for them? Because they don't have the level of intellectual complexity I should be dealing with now that I'm legally an adult? Matthew Reilly is one of my favourite authors, and he writes action thrillers for adults, but they don't exactly contain a great deal of content designed to make me think. In fact, they're largely rubbish. But I mainly read for entertainment. And I think if a book is entertaining, then I should feel entitled to read it, no matter where it belongs in the store.

How does one rate a quote? Not sure. But I agree with it. 4 STARS