Books to the Sky

Archive for January 2009

I think I’m about to ruin my teen years. The Final Friends trilogy was one of my favorite sets of books when I was about 13. I probably read it (if not the whole thing, then the last book) 3 or 4 times.

So let’s see how much I remember: this is a straight-up murder mystery without the supernatural stuff Pike put in his later books (this one’s (c) 1988). A perfect, pretty blonde girl bites it at the end of the first book, hot computer nerd Michael tries to solve her murder, and he’s joined by the love of his life Jessica (who falls for a probably-gay football player) and his BFF Bubba. There are lots of other characters, and they do typical high school things like going to sporting events and dances. And I remember how it ends, who the murderer is, but we won’t get to that just yet.

Can we start with the cover? As is the case with any good high school drama, all of the characters look about 35. And the guy in the bottom right corner is rocking an incredible red curly mullet. (I think this is Clark?) (You can see the cover at Like Pike, who also recapped this series.)

The curtain rises on Jessica Hart, who’s thinking that summering in Europe was maybe a mistake, because going to high school seems lame after conquering the Matterhorn. Plus, Jessica is starting a new school; the school district has decided the town doesn’t need 2 partially-full high schools, so Jessica has transferred with most of her friends from Mesa to Tabb High. (Mesa makes me think of Big Mesa, the rival of Sweet Valley High. Tabb makes me think of a soft drink.) One of these friends is Alice McCoy, who is two years younger than Jessica and “the sweetest girl in the whole world.” Alice wants to have a party so that the kids from Tabb and Mesa can get together.

Jessica knows she’s a knockout, but she hasn’t dated much, so she also thinks something might be wrong with her. Alice, however, is magnetic. (Also perfect, as you will see.) Jessica also gets jealous of a blonde girl in a cheerleader outfit that she sees in the quad. Alice knows that the cheerleader is Clair Hilrey, and she already plans to invite Clair to her party because Clair knows everybody. (*wink, nudge*) Clair is also gorgeous, according to Alice. Jess thinks, “She’s all right.” Heh.

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Via Jezebel, even fictional Wall Street tycoons and i-bankers are getting the kiss-off from the romance genre.   I’m picturing the BookWorld replete with these strapping stockbrokers, begging for D-list character roles in their pinstriped Armani suits.  These days, it’s tough to be a gangsta.

The article claims that rugby players are the next Big Thing, but in times of financial hardship, I think the hero of the hour should be obvious.  Pirates!  Steal from the rich and ravish the maidens!  Ahoy!

No, this is no way a meager offering instead of the recap I should have been working on over winter break.  I swear, I will get through Anita Blake if the nipples of steel kill me!   Knowing JC, it’s not a wholly implausible fate.

Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.
--Arnold Lobel

From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.
--Groucho Marx

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