Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Crash Test Dummy

I've been kinda quiet here in Internetlandia lately due to being insane and doing something called "crashing" a book, hence the title of this blog (other titles considered were Crash Diet and my personal favorite, Crash Into Book, but I decided that a Dave Matthews reference might date me). Crashing the book means that I'm writing like a crazy person. I'm shooting for 4,000 words/day, but so far, that's only happened once in the past week. 2,000 seems to be about the limit. Anyway, all this crazy writing time has left me looking like this:


Interestingly enough, when I did a Google Image Search for "crazy woman", I also found this:
Which...um... yeah, pretty crazy.

So today I'm breaking from tradition and instead of talking so much about writing, I'll be talking about reading, specifically YA. Today, The Mister and I went to Barnes and Noble so that I could browse the YA section. I've pretty much sworn off reading any YA while the book is in progress, out of both paranoia (I don't want to "steal" someone else's voice) and out of self-preservation (I don't want to read something and think, "Omigod, this is SO MUCH BETTER than the total and utter CRAP I am writing! Why- why- did I think I could ever be an author! I suck so hard!")
But I'm still a sucker for YA and I had to look. It is a sickness.
While browsing, I spotted some books called The Vampire Diaries that I thought sounded familiar. And sure enough, they were! See, the books that currently look like this:

Ooh... emo and dark!

USED to look like this!
Ooh...feathered bangs!

It makes me wonder what other YA gems from the 80s might get brought back. There's a persistent rumor that they're going to reissue Sweet Valley High, but they'd have to do a major rehaul on them. I mean, the girls were all size sixes, which would be OMG SO FAT now ( I kid, I kid!)

PLEASE tell me that some of you who read this blog remember SVH! For those who don't, it was a series of books about Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, beautiful, blond twins living in Southern California. Jessica was a sociopathic ho bag, and Elizabeth was a frigid do-gooder with a God complex. Except, you know, the books didn't come right out and say that.

Basically, they were rich and perfect and the entire town worshipped them and they gave thousands of adolescent girls eating disorders. I guess in that way they were the Gossip Girls of their time, only no one had sex or did drugs. Well, I take that back. Regina Morrow did cocaine in one book and DIED. That's right- had a heart attack and bit the big one. How's that for an anti-drug message? Although, as the reviews at the most excellent The Dairi Burger (http://thedairiburger.wordpress.com/) point out, the message seems to be more, "Hey, kids, don't do drugs, but only if you suspect you may have a heart murmur. If not, line up the nose candy! Whee!"

The Skank and The Saint

But despite their flaws, I LOVED these books as a young girl. In fact, one of them, Dear Sister, I probably read five times in one week. In that one, Elizabeth- aka Saintly McPrude, gets in a car accident and gets amnesia and starts acting- gasp!- kinda slutty. So she ditches her (totally closeted gay) boyfriend Todd and starts hanging out with Bruce Patman, the rich, super hot, super asshole-ish guy that exists in nearly every YA book from the 80s. He's kind of like the Andrew McCarthy character in Pretty in Pink ("Blane? His name is BLANE?! That's not a name, it's a major appliance!"), only, you know, more of a dick.

I mean, he drives a vintage BMW. Come on.

So Bruce is a slimey creep who has no problem taking advantage of a girl with a traumatic brain injury, and he ends up taking Liz to his parents' house when his parents are out of town (naturally). And there, he gives her some wine (Date Rape Ahoy! Like it's not bad enough that she's borderline retarded after her accident) and makes out with her on his leather sofa and then... HE TOUCHES HER BOOB. As a 12 year old, this was probably the raciest thing I'd ever read. And not only did he touch it, she LIKED IT! Hot stuff! Now, the next year I would read Forever... by Judy Blume and it would blow lame-ass boob touching out of the water (and led to the the most embarrassing discussion of my life when I asked my mom what "came" meant in a sexual context and she nearly stroked out. Sigh. But seriously, go read it. It great!)

So then Bruce makes the fatal mistake of going to get more wine (which is...awkward. I mean, who gets up in the middle of date rape for refreshments? Honestly.Oh, wait. Maybe he was going to get condoms and wine was his excuse. Hmmm...) and while he's gone, Liz tries to get up, but she's drunk and she falls and whacks her head on an end table and BAM! Amnesia fixed.

'Cause, you know, that happens.

And then Bruce comes back all set for some Nonconsensual Fun, and she yells at him and runs out. And then she, like, runs on the beach or something, all happy to be liberated from her previous sluttitude, even though...so, her amnesia is gone, but she...um, remembers that she had it? Whatev.

Oh, and of course, Totally Closeted Todd finds her and they reaffirm their love or some shit. But without boob touching.

So yeah, that's the kind of YA I was reading back in the late eighties/early nineties. So you kids today who get Meg Cabot, and John Green, and Holly Black, and Stephenie Meyer, and Libba Bray, and Scott Westerfeld, BE THANKFUL.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to add a creepy boob touching scene to Too Near the Glass...


Felicia said...

Well when you put it like that it seems dumb. Lol haha it totally was but I loved every SVH book they made. Those fatties! lmao

meredith said...

Ironically, or maybe not ironically. Maybe just creepy and sad, I used to sit in the hall closet and read SVH with a flashlight. Sad, I know. I really had no life. Ah, the good old days! Seriously though, this blog entry made me laugh!!! I think I remember a discussion on drama on Forever and Mrs. Dykes freaking out cause we were reading it. Or something like that. Good times ;)

Jill Wheeler said...

I was all about SVH.

So are they rereleasing The Vampire Diaries that I read in middle school? Are they exactly the same, only with new covers?