Saturday, April 5, 2008

Confessions of a Backup Dancer, by Tucker Shaw

This was (predictably) pretty bad, but it was interesting for one major reason- the protagonist was definitely kind of dumb, which is so refreshing after reading YA book after YA book where the protagonists have all these hidden depths and motivations, and in their diaries/letters/blogs/whatever use startlingly good vocabulary words and even their friends often end up being bright and articulate behind their shells. This girl, Kelly, the dancer, really just wanted to dance and help her brother, who, although he ended up being surprisingly bright and articulate under his troubled shell, still didn't turn around and be all strivey and complicated, he wanted to go be a forest ranger and fight fires. It was just different.

I imagine that writers, being writers, have a hard time creating inarticulate voices, and that's just what this Kelly was- a kinda dumb girl who thought about her hair and looked around and danced and when she didn't like her strippery costumes, it was because the boob tape itched or something, not because of any (even buried or inarticulate) gender politics, and who never questioned why Darcy (Brittney Spears, y'all) was a better selling pop star than her rival, the vocally talented but skanky Pashmina (Christina Aguilera, FTW).

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