Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Vegan, Virgin, Valentine

I know this book has been out for quite awhile, but I just re-stumbled upon it and decided to take it along on my 10 hr drive up north for the holidays. I limited myself to three books only (The Lightning Thief and Schwa was Here) because my bag of books have begun to outweigh my bag of clothes, and I never do as much reading as I'd like while visiting family. Anyway - I finished it on the drive. Usually I'm out like a light by Baltimore, but I was fully conscience all the way to Boston, Massachusetts this time. I've read her two previous books, but for some reason this book really gripped me. Not to mention the first few pages completely and totally shocked me to the point I had to read them aloud to my hubby. I think he now has a new respect for YA authors...

The characters were so realistic - V, the crazy over the top wild one, and Mara, the repressed over achiever. Mara's life is thrown upside down when V (Mara's niece, although she is only one year younger) comes to live with her family. Her first week there, V hooks up with Mara's ex-boyfriend - at school - with witnesses, thoroughly infuriating Mara (who is far from over the break-up). The girls clash through the rest of the book. Although V was the bad guy in the beginning, she becomes more three dimensional as the story continues, and I found myself feeling as attached to V as I was to Mara.

While I was reading about this book, I found an interesting thread from a vegan weboard about how terrible this book is, and how poorly veganism is portrayed. Vegan may be in the title, but this book is certainly not about veganism. It is about the delicate balance of self-control and indulgence - repression and letting go. Mara chooses to become vegan because she needs something to obsess about other than her ex-boyfriend. She needed something else to control in her already too-controlled life. It made complete sense to me.

Anyway - Cailin I think you'll love this book too. (I forgot to leave it at home for you...I'll send it to you after you finish Octavian Nothing...)


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