Tag Archives: annoying teenagers

“When you grow up, your heart dies.”

44. Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead

The design of the movie version of this book is excellent; especially the color choices for the marketing materials and the soundtrack. It’s very process red and neon green and that’s great for what it is – a so deep it’s shallow friends and vampires story with some sex and violence.

It’s easy to tell that Mead did some significant mythological research and I feel like maybe she researched traits for sassy heroines as well… The connections in teen novels are often built on life or death overdramatics, and in Vampire Academy they didn’t feel earned to me. I still don’t entirely buy Rose’s devotion to Lissa, in part because Lissa felt like a total cipher of vampire royalty to me and also because I don’t buy Rose. Maybe all vampire royalty are total ciphers. Maybe all sassy teenagers who are full of themselves just don’t work for me, even though I did enjoy Holden Caulfield when I read Catcher in the Rye (which might have a lot to do with the writing and angst being palpable instead of told…). In the film I didn’t buy Rose and Lissa’s relationship either, even with emotional facial expressions. In the book, I felt like I was being told a lot of emotionally significant to the narrative things by a narrator who wasn’t actually capable of accessing their vulnerability (even without knowing it, like so many good narrating characters), so it just didn’t ring true- which is one of the problems with the YA boom. Don’t write down to teenagers.

Danger Crumples, guinea pig royalty with excellent, nay, immaculate design.


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She could’ve killed someone with a pencil.

17. Night World: Huntress – L.J. Smith

You know how sometimes you have to like rejoin the gang of vampires you used to lead for the good of the universe even though you were like doing really well paying more attention to your human half? Keep up. Jez Redfern, like John Wick much later, has to return to her old ways for some serious action in order to keep evil from winning the apocalypse at the millennium/taking revenge a network of evil dudes/co-workers and stupid-Russian-Theon for stealing your car and murdering a very important dog. Maybe, just maybe, my analogy is not totally sound, but if there’s ever a movie version of Huntress and Jez Redfern says “Whoah,” I’ll know it’s meant for me.

A special hardcover collector’s edition of each of the Night World books is being released this year, if only this year was also actually going to see the release of the final Night World book… There is a rather hilarious Amazon page for “Strange Fate,” the tenth book – in theory – filled with the kind of frustrated commentary George R.R. Martin is surely used to dealing with, it’s been over 20 years of waiting for L.J. Smith’s fans. I’m waiting on her too, I’ve got to say Night World is a great series. A little melodramatic, but they’re for teenagers and everything is life and death. EVERYTHING. Maybe you don’t understand. Maybe you should go slam your bedroom door.

Mixtape –
1. Tread Lightly – Mastodon
2. White Light Suicide – Witchcraft
3. Raise A Paw – Melvins
4. Things Present, Things Past – Blood Ceremony
5. Dendrofil for Yggdrasil – Kvelertak
6. For Blood – Bass Drum of Death
7. Skin Traps – Electric Six
8. Never Let You Down – Greenskeepers
9. I Hear Voices – Kasabian
10. Reload – Ministry
11. The Needy – Logan 5
12. Feral Love – Chelsea Wolfe
13. By Your Definition – Witchcraft
14. I’d Kill for Her – The Black Angels
15. The Way of Vikings – Amon Amarth

Peregrine and Ozma are waiting here until someone tells them they have to take vengeance for their old names: “Pippa” (I adopted Peregrine and Merricat as a pair formerly known as “Paris” and “Pippa,” so I’m assuming there based on the order of their appearance in their adoption photo) and “Mitzi.” Seriously. Mitzi. That’s a dog name. Pippa is a dog name too.

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Teenage Romance Ruins Area Lives.

52. Don’t Look Behind You – Lois Duncan

Teenagers, man. They ruin everything with their intense need to connect with each other. Especially the April in this book. If she was April Ludgate, she would have been excited about the possibilities of escaping into the Federal Witness Security Program and insisted on being called something ridiculously amazing. Instead, she is written very realistically (you could always trust Lois for that, RIP damn it) as a teenager that just can’t let go of her old life, including her boyfriend Steve, even when he starts dating someone else after she abruptly disappears. Previously April risks her entire family’s life to get in touch with that unfaithful Steve and it TOTALLY isn’t worth it…which was only a surprise to April. Seriously. This imaginary family is lucky this story didn’t take place during the time of the internet.

Horace and Ozma demonstrate the "I love you/I know" principle. If Ozma had to go into Wit Sec, I doubt she'd bother sending random notes to Horace; she'd definitely try to get them to change her last name to "Snakehole," though.

Horace and Ozma demonstrate the “I love you/I know” principle. If Ozma had to go into Wit Sec, I doubt she’d bother sending random notes to Horace; she’d definitely try to get them to change her last name to “Snakehole,” though.


1. Let Me On Out – The Raveonettes
2. Shake Me Down – Cage the Elephant
3. Birthday Boy – Ween
4. R U Mine? – Arctic Monkeys
5. Pretty Girls Make Graves – The Smiths
6. Do You Love Me? – Electric Six
7. So Young – Suede
8.  Loaded – Primal Scream
9. One-Dimensional Steve – Dick Valentine
10. Hoax the System – Corrections House
11. Pretty When You Cry – VAST
12. Trophy – Bat for Lashes
13. Evil Love – Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats
14. Baby Bitch – Ween
15. Cheryl vs. Darryl – Electric Six
16. Prayer to God – Shellac
17. Safely Down the Road – The Ettes

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Poetry haunts everyone in different ways.

29. The Ghosts of Now – Joan Lowery Nixon

Angie Dupree’s family including her career driven father, barely-covering it up alcoholic mother, and teen brother Jeremy move to a tiny town in Texas and stumble into some terrible rich kid highjinks. I thought there were going to be ghosts. There were no ghosts and barely even any suspense of ghosts…sigh. Anyway, segue, when Jeremy ends up in a coma, Angie’s method for solving the mystery of what happened to him involves invading his drawers and reading his poetry (that’s where the “ghosts of now” came from – more sigh), harassing some girl named Debbie on the phone and by going over to her home repeatedly (geez, Angie…sigh), and bringing to light the town’s dividing lines between people who moved in to make money off of oil, locals without money, and locals with money; technically, there aren’t enough pages to make all that work out to a sensible point, not with Angie spending so much time yelling at people and visiting the hospital to tell Jeremy’s bizarre harem of elderly bedsitters to leave the room. Again, I thought there were going to be ghosts. Pffft.

“Rich kids always think their highjinks are the best highjinks even though they never are.” – Horace

“Rich kids always think their highjinks are the best highjinks even though they never are.” – Horace


Mixtape –
1.    “The Killing Moon” – Echo & the Bunnymen
2.    “Web in Front” – Archers of Loaf
3.    “You Blew Me Off” – Bobby Bare Jr.
4.    “Never Let Me Down Again” – Depeche Mode
5.    “(You’ll Never Be) So Wrong” – Bass Drum of Death
6.    “Cherry Cola” – Eagles of Death Metal
7.    “Grass” – The Black Ryder
8.    “An Occurrence at 450 South Third Street” – The Black Angels
9.    “Evil Blooms” – Dum Dum Girls
10.    “Right On, Frankenstein!” – Death From Above 1979
11.    “Stevie” – Kasabian
12.    “Ghosts” – UNKLE
13.    “Swollen Summer” – The Bravery
14.    “Psycho Killer” – Talking Heads
15.    “I Disappear” – The Faint

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We just want to see the hot hot side of Randy

24. Mirror, Mirror – D. E. Athkins

So, it’s possible that D. E. Athkins realized that all together her name spelled “deathkins,” which seems like a cutesy nickname for death. It’s also possible that it’s a nom de plume, but still, “Deathkins” would be a good name for a cute little grim reaper action figure, like my Tokidoki death action figure with his little cape and the “Adios” across his chest. Adorable.

Anyway, I’m wandering around nicknames because this book uses a pretty standard set of tricks, including a shortened name, to let you know who the villain of influence is. You can probably guess who it is based on me calling them a “villain of influence” and maybe somebody caught on just now that I’ve pointed that out. That’s fine and actually a decent idea. It wasn’t executed well. This book reads like a mixtape made from the radio. There are bits and pieces and scenes missing like those songs that get stuck at the end of the side and you think there’s room but there just isn’t. At a mere 130 pages (followed by a preview of R. L. Stine’s new one – Beach House!) there was room to write full scenes. It may be an example of an overzealous editorial situation. Somebody trying their best to cut the parts people tend to skip and not realizing that there’s room to create multiple fully realized scenes, especially when you’re trying to draw a picture without saying anything outright. A warm picture. Of somewhere that hasn’t frozen, yet, and probably won’t. And they have a hukilau.

Mixtape 2:

1. All I Have To Do Is Dream – The Everly Brothers

2. Eden Prison – Swans

3. Crystal Baby – Dum Dum Girls

4. Candy Cane Children – The White Stripes

5. Randy’s Hot Tonight! – Electric Six

6. Some Kinda Hate – The Misfits

7. Hazy Shade of Winter – The Bangles

8. Cheryl vs. Darryl – Electric Six

9. Captain Fantasy – Ween

10. Wet Nightmare – The Cramps

11. You Want the Candy – The Raveonettes

12. Teenagers from Mars – The Misfits

13. Devil In Me – 22-20s

14. Rolling Home – Gallon Drunk

15. God Monster – The Cramps

16. Isolation – Joy Division

17. Lucretia My Reflection – Sisters of Mercy

18. Ghost Rider – Suicide

19. Lucifer Airlines – Electric Six

The first thing I thought of when she mentioned the song was the last part of Interview with the Vampire. I love that damn movie.

Everybody loves a hukilau…even Murderface.

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Area Teenagers to Continue Endless, Irritating Romance

3.  Beautiful Redemption – Margaret Stohl & Kami Garcia

The end of the series. Lately, I’ve noticed that some series are moving to quadrilogies…this one, Maberrry’s Rot and Ruin series… and I’m still working on my trilogy. Always behind. But at least trilogies are classic. There are a few trilogies that hold up. Anyway, I just sometimes feel like the kind of stories I write are either too far ahead or too far behind to be published legitimately. I’m probably not the only one who feels that way and it really just enforces the whole dead-in-the-gutter before respect thing that happens to writers sometimes. Well, that was uplifting, I guess I’ll get on with the rest of it. To be fair, my mood has not been the greatest lately. Ozymandias’s bladder stone issues are back-exactly one year after he came to live with me which is shitty and totally unfair. They (stones) always come back though, even if they’re surgically removed. And I’m grading papers again, it’s always super fun to read a paper that’s completely devoid of subject-verb agreement in which the writer claims they want to be a teacher. Why didn’t they pay attention in middle school English if teaching was their chosen career field? Why? My brain screams at these inconsistencies like Leonardo DiCaprio in that field in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet. Oh look, I’ve made it back around to the topic I should be discussing. Yay for me. It’s looking up. Whatever it is.

I definitely respect the concreteness of the ending. The last page was essentially a “no, seriously, it’s over” declaration. Thanks for not leaving loose ends! I mean that sincerely. I’m not really going to discuss anything that happens because if you haven’t bothered with the other books, there is no reason for you to read this one, it won’t be useful for you, it will just be confusing. The recurring aspects of these books worked out nicely in the last entry and as someone who has done many crosswords with their grandmother, I appreciated crossword puzzles having an important function in this book.

I do want to talk about the upcoming movie though. I have seen it decribed very lazily as “Twilight with witches” and the latest attempt to capitalize on Twilight’s success. Twilight’s first page made me want to throw up with boredom and despair. It was super lazy writing. And then, the movie demonstrated the laziness with which the characters were conceived – shells of humans (and vampires) with very little going for them beyond being audience surrogates for those who want a creepy stalker or two. Now, I like fully formed characters, they’re very important to me as a writer and a reader. I also like earned storylines. In Twilight, Bella and Edward seem to fall in love because they must, as they are both present in the narrative. In this series, as annoying as I found Lena and Ethan to be at times, they read as real. Real teenagers. Real annoying teenagers. Who have real, annoying teenage romance. But that isn’t the entirety of what happens. And as frustrated as I got with the first two books being slightly different mirrors of each other, they more than made up for it in Beautiful Chaos and Beautiful Redemption. This series is not Twilight with witches (or casters), I don’t even really think of it as solely being about the main romance between Ethan and Lena. It’s more like a less-ridiculously sticky and purple version of the Mayfair Witches. Which I enjoyed as an annoying teenager. And maybe, just maybe, Macon is a less manipulative version of Julian. Everyone loves Julian.

He's certainly bitten his thumb at Danger quite a few times - they're occasionally friends.

Ozymandias. He is the Mercutio of my herd. Or the Tybalt. He’s pivotal, that’s all I know.

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