Friday, June 02, 2006

Goldie Reads Chick-Lit On A Dare, Part II

part I

Warning: These stunts were performed by a seasoned professional. Please do not try them at home.

I started by purchasing "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, And Got A Life". The book that had, according to the news, been removed from circulation, is freely available on Amazon. The story takes place in a suburban high school in New Jersey. The main character, Opal, an overachieving daughter of Indian immigrants, applies to Harvard but is tentatively rejected on the grounds that she "does not do anything for fun". Opal has four months before she can apply again via the regular-admission process. During these four months, she needs to become a party animal in order to get into Harvard. With their usual zeal, her parents set out to assist her in this pursuit, planning out Opal's transformation in a great deal of detail and even setting up a website that shows her work in progress. Long story short, Opal succeeds, hates it, drops out of the party scene, is accepted to Harvard anyway, and learns some important life lessons in the process. The book was actually an entertaining read; I enjoyed it.

What I didn't like about the book:

1. The plot is totally unrealistic.
2. The resemblance to "Mean Girls" is uncanny. I don’t care if certain words in the book (like "Ohmigod!" or "Playboy bunny") have been allegedly lifted from another author, but the whole book reminds me of "Mean Girls" so much, it's not even funny.

Redeeming qualities:

1. The "science geek" line. The description of our life (yes, yes - I was massively geekish in high school), the popular girls as seen by us, what makes us tick - all very realistic and compelling.
2. The Harvard visit. I could definitely relate. This chapter brought back the memories of my own first visit to my alma mater, and how I fell in love with it at first sight. Of course, later on I realized that it wasn't all that perfect, but the first impression was exactly like Kaavya describes it - that I absolutely had to go to this school, and this school only; the feeling of finally finding a place where I belong, after 17 years in a small town.
3. The ethnic line. I’m glad that somebody has stepped up and written about the phenomenon that is Asian parents. We do not have to deal with it so much where I live, but from my friends over at the West Coast, I hear that Asian parents make us Jewish parents look like total slackers that don't give a crap about their children's future. And that, for those of you who never met a Jewish parent, is saying a lot. Add to that the detailed descriptions of immigrants' life in America, trying to fit in and preserve their heritage all at the same time. That really spoke to me. I greatly enjoyed reading about all things ethnic in this book.

Next items in line were "Sloppy Firsts" and "Second Helpings", which I obtained from our local library. When I opened "Sloppy Firsts", an index card fell out. On the card, it was written in different colored markers:

(big pink heart) your secret swimmer

Why am I doing this, I wondered. Here I am, about to start reading a kids' book. I am old enough to be this Jill's mother. Am I nuts?

But I needed material for my blog posts, so I plowed on.

The Goldie has spoken at 11:10 AM

Technorati search

Powered by FeedBurner

Graphic Design by alla_v