But first, administrative business: this post is part of the How to Build a Girl readalong, hosted by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads!), made possible by HarperCollins, and necessitating the pre-ordering of the featured book. Do iiiiit. Do it. Spoilers will be marked, reactions will be GIFed, and feelings will be shouted.
Also, sorry I didn't make it around to your posts last week, fellow readalongers! Please know that I adore you and will do better this week. Non-readalongers, you should definitely check out the other folks participating. They're the actual bee's meow.
Chapters 5 though 10 carried on in the grand Moran tradition of sneaking bits that touch the ageless core of you in amidst bits that make you violently snort/laugh. This bit
"Musicals are strictly for the homosexuals and womenfolk," Kenny says drily, in a way that's so post-post-postironic it actually stops being communication, and simply becomes confusing and unhelpful. (p 100)is part of the latter and pulled a choked, garbled, vaguely laugh-related sound out of me that I think may have frightened my husband.
I am eating this noise like mouthfuls of freezing, glittering fog. I am filling with it. I am using it as energy. Because what you are, as a teenager, is a small, silver, empty rocket. And you use loud music as fuel, and the information in books as maps and coordinates, to tell you where you're going. (p 91/92 in the ebook)is part of the former. This bit I would have printed out and taped to my own collaged, teenage-bedroom walls. I needed this bit; I needed Joanna, when I was her age. And I'm so sad I didn't have her and so happy she's in the world now. I made endless mixed tapes as a teenager and latched pretty hard onto High Fidelity (which I love on an elemental level to this day). But how much more wonderful would it have been to have relatable, fucking female character to cling to? Johanna's experience of music appreciation being a male-only game is something a lot of us have felt, but having her out there, ready to be loved by teenage (and, obviously, adult) girls from this day on makes things seem a little better.
Can I just: "I am eating this noise like mouthfuls of freezing, glittering fog." God dammit, Johanna. Johanna.
|I feel you, is what I'm saying.|
Bury me with that quote. I'm getting that quote tattooed on my neck.
Johanna is cool and uncool in equally unbearable measures, perfectly illustrated in the pen name she's chosen: Dolly Wilde, Oscar Wilde's infamous, tragic, lesbian niece. Johanna is so damn enthusiastic in her name choice, enjoys it in a way that we've been taught is uncool. (That flavour of uncool
is yet another aspect of her character I think all the readalongers in this bar can relate to.) I just want to cradle her to my bosom, is all.
Also, at this point in the story *spoilers, I guess, to the end of the post* she's starting to see real success as a music journalist. Unfortunately, we're less than half way through the book.
Predictions for the horrible badness that's sure to come:
- Conflict with her dad using her to push his band.
- Some manner of horrific misogyny from the media she's trying to be a part of.
- Scary sex stuff (who even knows it's just she's so little and I worry about her. See above re: bosom.)
- The next band she sees covers the Scooby Doo theme song.