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OMG. If you are or ever have been overeducated, a faculty brat, bookish, socially awkward, or in high school (preferably two or more of those): read this book. If you're into thrillers, conspiracy theories, postmodern prose, the movie Heathers, and/or Wildean wit: read this book. Blue van Meer has spent her life traveling the country with her widower dad, a professor. She has her sights on Harvard (I can forgive) but no idea about the world. For her senior year of high school, she attends a prep school where she's drawn into the orbit of a charismatic teacher and the uber-popular kids who are her proteges. A series of strange events culminates in the teacher's death--and our heroine determines to uncover the truth, no matter the cost. Have I mentioned the fact that the table of contents is a syllabus, with each chapter named after and thematically linked to a famous work of literature? The entire novel is that self-consciously clever... but it really is clever.

Read it before they make a half-assed film version like The Golden Compass, which I saw last weekend with M, [livejournal.com profile] matt_rah, and someone whose LJ username I don't know. I'd give the movie a B-. It's not howlingly bad, it's entertaining, it's reasonably faithful to the book (the solution to the religion issue works pretty well). The daemons and bears are done very well. But there's no character development, and we're basically rushing around for two hours with too much Stuff happening to really make Sense.

I'm just waiting for the animated film of Persepolis that comes out on Christmas. That's actually gotten some good buzz, I hear.

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January 2009

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