Disclaimer: This post will not be comprehensive, on account of I moved houses this week and, therefore, sucked on the notes-taking front. I did not suck, however, on the not-breaking-plates front. You pick your battles.
First, the most important thing: Johanna's got a younger brother named Lupin. Did I not tell you Harry Potter would come into this? I totally told you Harry Potter would come into this.
|Don't act like you're not impressed, Snape.|
This book keeps lulling me into a humour stupor, so I'm kind of blind sided each time I read a profoundly relatable line, even though they keep happening. Our hero, Johanna, is 14 and one of five kids in a poor family. Poor economically, mind you. Rich in love and embarrassment and Annie-devotion. Even if you can't relate to her exact situation, she goes and says things like, "When I get to London, that is when I will start being me" (p 31). Damn if that's not a nearly inescapable sentiment. It'll be different when I'm done high school, finished university, working a real job. I've had many a conversation with my Mom about avoiding this kind of feeling, not waiting until some indefinable point in the future to start living life or obtain certain qualities. (My success in this varies. Now that I'm living in my first house, for instance, I will surely exercise regularly and stop getting take-out and grow my own vegetables and keep the place immaculately clean.
It just follows.)
Another relatable quote, still not spoilery and more on the heartbreaking side: "Because my biggest secret of all -- the one I wouldn't even put in my diary -- is that I really, truly, in my heart, want to be beautiful. I want to be beautiful so much -- because it will keep me safe, and keep me lucky, and it's too exhausting not to be" (bold is mine) (p 53). I mean, I JUST.
Johanna is me. Johanna is all of us. Because Moran spends the first 50 pages of the book establishing this kinship between the reader and Johanna, that moment of embarrassment -- that catastrophic nightmare of an experience -- is all the more painful. Thanks for that, Caitlin. I was planning of bursting into flames that Saturday afternoon, anyway. Well, we needed a jumping off point, and the rest of the book is a reaction to that experience, as I understand it.
Also it's super funny and I'm happy to see such an unembarrassed account of a girl wanking and it is SO HOT HERE and I can't write anymore. (I thought we lived in the North. What is this 30+ degree nonsense.) Next week will surely be better. (When I have more time, that is when I'll write thought-provoking posts. [Ah, balls, did it again.])