A few months ago my family and I moved into a new house. This wasn’t the first, second, or even third time I’ve had to move. I’ve moved from house to house, apartment to apartment, and state to state. Each move brings anxiety, always over the possibility that I’ll lose some of my beloved books. I still have books that I got when I was a toddler. I have books from throughout my childhood, through my “YA Reader” years, and favorites from young adulthood until now.
When I found out we were moving, I started packing the books I couldn’t bear to lose. I figured I would start early and do it myself and write on the boxes so there was no way my books would be lost. By the day the moving truck arrived, I knew I had done my part to keep all of my favorites, all of my irreplaceable books boxed up and ready to go to the new house.
The anxiety, the panic that descended upon me when I realized I was missing a box is almost indescribable. Ready for some honesty here? I cried. For real. I sobbed. I sat in my new house, on my couch, surrounded by half-opened boxes, and just cried. The box that had my favorite childhood books (the first half of my Choose Your Own Adventures, The Game by Les Logan, and The Devil’s Children books) was gone. I looked everywhere. I had no idea how they could be lost, but they were.
A month later, I finally found them. Apparently the movers had put them into another box because my box hadn’t been good enough. (I have no idea why.) I’m sure my husband was relieved because it meant I wouldn’t go looking to replace all of them via ebay or etsy. I was ecstatic and spent the next few weeks dragging my books to work and showing my co-workers what a massive nerd I am.
So for the past six months I have been reading old childhood and teenage favorites. Then, halfway through the summer, we went to Pittsburgh (my hometown) and made our annual pilgrimage to Half Price Books (we don’t have them where I live now.) I was a little bummed because there were no ‘new’ Choose Your Own Adventures or Dark Forces books, or anything from my youth. After some consideration, I realized I have most of my old favorites now. There really aren’t any books that I once loved and no longer have. I have found and bought all of them. (quite a feat!) I made a few more rounds through the store, looking for buried treasure, and I hit paydirt! I found this:
As I have mentioned before, I love horror films. This book inspired a movie with Barbara Hershey and Ron Silver. This movie was weird, creepy, sexy, and horrifying all at once. The overacting was the only thing that topped the horrible special effects. the very minute I saw this book, I had to have it. And, my friends, the book was everything I knew it could be. It was full of 70s slang (“was this a put-on?”) and it just fit perfectly with what I remembered of the movie. As for story-telling, it could have done better. By the time I reached the end I was faced with two conflicting questions. 1. Is this book really still going on? Where does it end? 2. Was that the end? But nothing happened! The end left me wondering what exactly the point of the book was. I still had no idea what was going on when I closed the book one last time. Was Carlotta crazy? Was she neurotic? Was she having nightmares that induced some kind of mass hysteria? I have no idea, but it perfectly fit the movie and left me feeling like I had been in a time warp.
Can I recommend it to anyone? Eh, I can think of a handful of friends who might enjoy it. (the same friends who watched the movie with me back in high school) But it isn’t a good book. It gets long, it gets boring, and I was really just ready to move on to my next book.
Speaking of which, I am reading another book based on a true story (yeah, that last one was loosely based on ‘reality’), but this one is much more serious. In the 70s, a plane full of rugby players crashed in the Andes and the survivors had to eventually take meat from the passengers who died in the crash. It’s an amazing, humbling story of survival, humanity, and faith. I won’t review the book, but I can tell you now, it’s worth a read. If you don’t want to read it, watch the movie. (you won’t hear that from me very often)
I think my next couple of reviews may be of the old favorites I had as a young adult. I haven’t been reading many new books lately, and the newest book I plan to read next is “Ready Player One”, and that isn’t exactly new.
Please bear with me as I ease back into my book reviews. I haven’t written in a long time and I can tell I am rusty. I promise to write more if you promise to stick with me. Deal?
Enjoy the rest of your summer, and look forward to my next review, which will be a combination of Choose Your Own Adventure books, Dark Forces books, and an Apple Book.