Giving it up in ’07

21 December 2007

It’s my turn to talk on the Aqueduct blog about my favorite books, movies, tv and music of 2007. It turned out to be less of a list and more of a rant, or maybe a riff…

If anyone has suggestions for the kind of text I’m looking for, let me know — I’d be grateful. Or we can talk about what you’re looking for in text right now. Use the comment form below, or start your own conversation (the link takes you to a form where you can submit a question or comment about… well, anything. As soon as I can, I’ll respond and post both your question and my response to the blog).


9 Responses to “Giving it up in ’07”

  1. Sam on December 27th, 2007 2:30 pm

    Hi Kelley,

    One YA text that really moved me a few years ago, was ‘What Happened to Lani Garver’, by Carol Plum-Ucci.

    Vividly, and emphatically written, this is a book that dug down deep to find the teenage me of a decade or so ago, and recapture the raw questions, the discoveries, the unusal friendships and dreams that seemed to swirl around me back then. It is definitely a captivating read, and might be good fodder for your research. A brief summary is here:

    “Plum-Ucci, the author of the excellent YA mystery The Body of Christopher Creed, offers here another emotionally intense tale of teen relationships with a bit of a supernatural flavor. This is an involving, dramatic tale that will quickly draw readers in, with a message about tolerance and characters that intrigue–especially the enigmatic Lani.”

    You can find it here.

    Hope this helps.


  2. Sam on December 27th, 2007 2:34 pm

    P.s. a better synopsis (‘What Happened to Lani Garver’):
    “The folks on Hackett Island, near Philadelphia, are not too friendly to newcomers. Anyone the slightest bit different is eyed with suspicion, as Claire found out when she missed a year of junior high due to leukemia. Now she works hard at fitting in, following treacherous but popular Macy’s lead, hiding her passion for the guitar, and never talking about her fear that her illness will return. Or her nightmares. Or her eating disorder. The boys of Hackett Island’s “in” crowd are members of the “fish frat”–hunky sons of the local fishermen–and their horseplay even among themselves is brutal and edge-of-danger.

    And then Lani Garver shows up at school, a tall, thin, strangely androgynous person. “No. Not a girl. Sorry,” he says pleasantly when Macy questions him about his gender with vicious curiosity. But Claire, much to Macy’s disgust, is drawn to Lani, and his wisdom and kindness begins to heal her. He takes her to Philadelphia to meet his artistic friends, talks sense to her about her eating disorder and her blind devotion to Macy, finds her a therapist. Who is this Lani Garver? He resists “boxes” like “gay.” Even his age is a mystery to Claire. Strangest of all, could he be a “floating angel,” as his friends at the hospital seem to believe? Meanwhile, the fish frat are closing in for the kill, and when their harassment turns lethal, Lani shows a terrible side of himself Claire has never seen.”

  3. Kelley on December 27th, 2007 3:30 pm

    Thanks, Sam! I’ve just put it on my library list and will look forward to it.


  4. Sam on December 28th, 2007 2:18 pm

    One more comes to mind, and that is Patrick Suskind’s ‘Perfume’. I read it many, many years before the film, and remember it reaching inside me and transporting me so far into Grenouille’s mind and senses that I could almost taste the way his unique senses worked. I remember coming up out of the other side of this novel completely intrigued about how something so beautiful could be called a horror story – it made me look at the craft of describing the senses, especially something so difficult as smell, in a completely different light. Suskind created such a visual and evocative and sensuous world, with such keen emotion and intelligence, that the way Grenouille ends his journey was almost like being the witness to the end of a live performance of art, even in its most morbid and terribly human form. This is coming from someone who is squeamish about horror movies, so go figure. Definitely recommended though – more so if you managed not to watch the film – the book most definitely must be experienced in all its absorbing uniqueness first.


  5. Jennifer Durham on December 28th, 2007 3:38 pm

    Hey Kelley-

    The only thing I can say after reading that is — oh my god, SHE’S hot!

    Maybe I should’ve edited myself there, but wtf. :)


  6. Kelley on December 29th, 2007 8:10 am


    It’s so ironic that I’m finding now all this just-put-it-out there confidence, in myself and in my writing, that I wanted so desperately at 25… I’m at an age that most 25-year-olds probably think of as six degrees from dead, and really I’m just getting started.

    Isn’t life amazing?


  7. Jennifer Durham on December 30th, 2007 11:38 pm

    - just shows how much most 25 year-olds probably don’t know. I find I’m just getting started as well. And – yes. Yes it is amazing.


  8. Robin on January 9th, 2008 8:36 am

    Hi Kelley –

    I am reminded of the conversation we had a year or so ago about being naked on the page . . . and here you are, naked.

    Doesn’t it feel good???

    Seems to me maybe we all want to feel that when we read. At least those of us who want to be touched by human-ness.


  9. Kelley on January 14th, 2008 9:54 am

    Hey Robin, nice to see you here.

    It feels great (grin).

    More about this later.