Friday, December 19, 2008

snow day reading.

We got a big, overhyped winter storm here today, so after running a few errands this morning (just as the snow was starting), I spent most of the day snuggled up in my bed sipping tea and reading Sarah Dessen's Lock and Key. I've read all of her novels, and if I were taking a YA literature class, I think maybe I would re-read them and write a paper about the common themes, etc. She's sort of created her own little world to write in, it has its own fake retail chains in common and characters who make vague cameos in different books, which I think is pretty adorable. Whenever I settle in with one of her books I end up finishing it in hours and then being sad there isn't any more--her work reads so quickly, and is always engrossing, even if sometimes I'm not sure how I feel about the points she's making. (Which possibly has more to do with my dubious feelings about certain prevalent societal values than her writing. It's hard to tell.)

The Amazon page for this book has a quote from Kirkus Reviews that says "Dessen's tone...is invitingly non-threatening and will reward patient readers," which I think is an odd thing to quote as though it's complimentary. "Invitingly non-threatening"? "Patient readers"? That makes it sound like a Disney-adapted fairy tale and Moby Dick, respectively.

One of the plot points of Lock and Key is about the necklace its protagonist wears---her old house key on a silver chain. Another character (who runs a one-woman jewelry business) is inspired by the key and starts a making pieces with handmade key-shaped charms. What tickled me pink was that as I was reading, I was wondering but how is she making these charms? precious metal clay? making a mold and casting them? cutting them out of sheet metal? I want to hear about the process. I was definitely supposed to be focusing on the characters' various psychological issues, but I was so curious about how the key-jewelery was being created! (Alas, my question was never answered.) Oh, Etsy. Sometimes I love what you've done to my brain.