It's funny the things you happen upon when trying to find something to read to your kids at bedtime. You jump on the library's ebook collection, slapIt's funny the things you happen upon when trying to find something to read to your kids at bedtime. You jump on the library's ebook collection, slap a couple of filters on, and hope for the best. Sometimes you win at this game, sometimes you lose. But sometimes you just get really, profoundly confused.
The Improbable Cat, as the title suggests, is about a cat. This cat shows up out of nowhere as a sweet little kitten and quickly casts a spell over the unsuspecting family. The spell, however, is less like something that would prompt one to post an inane picture on Facebook (and, yes, everyone hates the cat pictures you post on Facebook), and more like something out of The Twilight Zone.
The cat in question (view spoiler)[grows to an unlikely size, consumes a wide variety of food, and chain smokes cigars while watching television. When the family is finally able to fight the beast off and get it out of their lives (with the help of the neighborhood dogs, of course), it becomes truly monstrous (hide spoiler)]. The whole thing is highly improbable.
In spite of being excited about it and eagerly anticipating it because of its title (being, of course, future posters of cat pictures to Facebook), the children didn't enjoy the book. Repeatedly, the younger one requested that we just reread the Lemony Snicket books if alternatives are going to insist on being this bizarre and uninteresting. I mostly agree. But I do want to give it credit for truly surprising me. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Recently, I read the book Manifesta, a Gen X take on feminism. I didn't like it. The entire thing was feminism in the context of feminisms past. The aRecently, I read the book Manifesta, a Gen X take on feminism. I didn't like it. The entire thing was feminism in the context of feminisms past. The authors had a lot of issues with older generations and, as a result, so much of it came across as self-centered whining. Needless to say, that book is no longer on my shelves. I am not, as I had planned, saving it for my daughters when they get older.
If I had to categorize it, I'd say that Jigsaw Youth, more than anything else, is a Millennial manifesta. It's raw, gritty, and completely unapologetic. The protagonist is a strong, lesbian, Mexican-American living in a country still reeling from the effects of a century of strong women paving their own way. The book deals with some heavy fucking issues in a very personal way. And I loved it for that.
As a novel, it was lovingly curated. Brief vignettes painted the picture of a young life lived on the fringe. I loved the love stories with damaged people. I loved the non-conformist packs of women bonding together over a background of riot grrrl philosophy and punk rock. I felt sick during the rape and the heartbreak. To say the least, it was effective.
I read the book over the course of a single day. I haven't done that in a very long time. This is one of my favorite books of 2015. I think I'll be holding on to this one for my daughters. ...more