Thursday, January 01, 2009

"Uninvited" by Justine Musk

Why I read it: I read her blog, which is entertaining because of the celebrity stuff I suppose, but also because she is very open about her life. Also, she did Tai Kwon Do. A couple of days ago, she said she writes "vampire books with no vampires in them". Excellent.

I got the book for Christmas from Ed (because I'd provided him with a list of "a book by..." type items).

Bookmark: Envelope from a Customs questionnaire I received back in August, the last time I crossed the border.

Tastes like Chicken: Tough one, this time. (Edited later to add:) I think if Tim Wynne-Jones were to write a different book than the two I read that were exactly the same, it might come out like this. That is a good thing.

What I liked: So very much.
  • The voice was good. It made me laugh.
  • I found Kelly really believable as a teenager, I found her parents believable as parents of teenagers, I found her brother believable as someone who had expectations placed on him that just weren't for him, and who really screwed up.
  • The story totally dragged me along from start to finish. There was just the right amount of feeling that Kelly knew something had gone wrong, that something was really wrong, and she was trying to get along with her life, and it just wasn't working.
  • There's a vehicle named Truck. I don't know why this amused me so much, except that I have a car named BMW. (Ed's car, in contrast, is named Jean-Guy.)
  • The cover design seemed strange when I got the book, but it totally fit the story.
  • This book caused me to have a conversation on the way back from sushi lunch with some coworkers, where we discussed what a bad idea it would be to use work computers to find out if Ecstasy really costs $15 per pill.
  • The mythology was neat.

I'd never heard of MTV Books before (not that I'm exactly a maven of all publishing info, but still). Though all the other books advertised in the back sounded a little less my thing.

What I hated: Hate is such a strong word. There were a couple of places where the transition to exposition seemed jarring, but whatever. I suppose I could say I hated, or feared, Archie and the bikers. They were creepy. And I was supposed to, so that's good.

What I can steal: I keep saying voice, over and over, but I need to have my own voice, not take someone else's. There was an article in Toronto Life Feb 09 about Margaret Atwood, mentioning the voice she's adopted for her non-fiction as distinguished from the voice she uses in her fiction. Two voices? Interesting. I wonder if that's what I need to do for my karate persona, or as JM talked about in this book, "game face"? Soon I will have "more faces than a deck of cards" as Ed says. It would be good if I could have three, I guess.

Did I mention that I sent Watcher to the Sunday Star Short Story contest? Yeah, I did that on Dec 20, 11 days before the deadline. That's so not like me. But it wasn't going to get any better while I was on vacation, so that was probably the thing to do.

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