What I Read This Week: 4/4/13 – 4/10/13

10 Apr

Bring on the sad teenage girls who are determined to self-destruct!

valley of the dolls

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

This is one of those classic trash novels that I had heard referenced to a billion times, but had never actually read. Now I can say I have…and probably won’t remember a whole lot about it in a few months. It was certainly a fun ride though!

Three young women move to NYC in the 1940’s with dreams of stardom and independence. They work in menial office jobs, date thrillingly rich but otherwise horrible men, and slowly become addicted to a staggering amount of pills.

I can see why this was a huge hit when it came out. There’s all sorts of what must have been scandalous sex at the time (although a starlet trading a BJ for a role doesn’t seem all that odd in today’s world of sex tapes setting up careers). Some characters were supposedly based on real celebrities. Even now, 40 years later, I saw the glaring Judy Garland reference.

So yes, fun, slightly seedy beach read. Anything more than that? Eh.


Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

After reading Speak a couple months ago, I decided to look a bit closer at Anderson’s works, as I would like to stay aware of who is on top of the YA world. Well, the YA world that is actually decent and not paranormal romance, thankyouverymuch.

Like Speak, Wintergirls deals with some very real, very touchy subjects. Lia and Cassie are high school girls, battling with horrible eating disorders. After Cassie is found dead from the effects of bulimia at the beginning of the book, Lia has to learn how to deal with her own guilt and continuing mental health problems.

Although I have never struggled with an eating disorder, I found the narrator frighteningly easy to understand, even as she is doing things to herself that are beyond comprehension. That is both the best thing and the worst thing about this novel. While I consider myself a pretty stable person, I found myself thinking in calories even more than I usually do after I finished this book. It was amazing how the narrator had managed to sneak her way into my brain and got me hung up on food more than I usually am. I wonder how teenage girls who suffer from ED would respond to it. Could it be triggering? Healing? I would love to know.


4 Responses to “What I Read This Week: 4/4/13 – 4/10/13”

  1. angieeatspeace April 10, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Both sound like interesting reads!

  2. Julie April 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    I’ve never actually read Valley of the Dolls either! Funny how you can reference something frequently and not have the first-hand experience.

  3. Laura Rowsell (@LauraRowsell) April 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    Hahahaha, it’s so funny you should say that you won’t remember Valley of the Dolls in a few months, because I read it (a while ago, I have to admit) and I basically can’t remember anything about it. Except, many many pills?

    • ohdizzle April 11, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

      That’s pretty much where I am now. Cat fights and pills. But hey! I enjoyed it as I read it, which counts for something, right?

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