Welcome to the very first installment of Drowning in Books with Krystal Lake! I know, catchy, ain’t it!?!! Anyways, I since I am an avid reader, I thought I would start making posts sharing what I have read and my opinions on said books. You know, since my opinions are all that matter. Just kidding. Sort of. I am going to make a post once a month where I talk about three books I have read and because I like things to be wrapped up in a neat little package, there will be a theme. Not all books will be brand spanking new, but I will try to pick ones that are still in print or available as an eBook. You’ve been warned.
This month, I have decided to pick three books that make me remember what it is like to be scared, confused, different, and just a girl. Yeah, sorry guys, these are chick reads that are coming of age tales. They are all easy reads which is perfect for anyone looking for a good beach read while they are on vacation. However, these aren’t sappy tales where the girl gets the guy and he hurts her and true love something something the end. No. I don’t like those… typically. On today’s chopping block I have College Girl, How to Build a Girl, and I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone.
College Girl by Patricia Weitz is kind of what it sounds like, it is about a girl in college. Natalie Bloom is a beautiful, smart, and highly insecure college student. She is 20 years old and has never had a boyfriend and is also a virgin. While her friends spend weekends at parties and going on dates, she stays in the library. This is where she meets her perfect fellow… or so she thought. Patrick is her exact fantasy of a charming, sweet, cultured, intelligent dream bloke. Yeah, think again. This guy brings out her worst insecurities and she ends up losing her virginity before she is ready. Cue the downward spiral and you’re halfway through this gem. Not only does she lose her virginity, but she also loses herself. She has no direction and he organized life takes a self-destructive turn. Natalie has to get her shit together and take some extreme measures to rebuild her self-esteem, confidence, and motivation.
This book made me smile, laugh, sigh, and get a little angry. I don’t know anyone who made it out of college without a few ups and downs in their personal lives. Heck! I am 30 and I am still learning new things about myself everyday. I found Natalie to be very relatable just because I have always been an indecisive person, especially when I was in my early 20s. Part of that was due to me being insecure and the other part was because I really just didn’t know what I wanted. I always wanted to go with the flow and not cause ripples because I was worried that I would lose something by speaking my mind or saying how I really felt. The reality is not being honest shielded who I really was, and not just from people I dated and friends, but from myself as well. I always say it took me a long time, longer than I had realized, to be comfortable in my own skin. Which is totally true, but it took me a long time to be comfortable with who I was. It may not have seemed that way with friends, but when it came to dating, that was almost always the case. That being said, if I had read this when I was the age the main character was, I don’t know that I would have liked it because of how close to home some of the content is. None the less, it is beautifully written and I enjoyed reading it.
Next we have How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran. This is Caitlin’s first work of fiction. It is about a 14 year old girl who had something terribly mortifying happen to her on national television.Throw in her failed rock musician father, clinically depressed mum, and younger siblings she has to take care of and you have Johanna’s life. Ohh yeah, and she is a virgin with body image issues. She wants something more. But how does one build a girl ?That is the real question. It starts with a name change. Say hello to Dolly Wilde! She is a punk rock loving chick who will tear your band a new one. By 16 she is writing regularly for a magazine, has dropped out of school, and is sleeping with rock gods. Oh, to be young and coming of age in 1990s London! The only thing about building a girl like Dolly is that what do you do when you realize being weird is not enough?
I really liked this book. It was weird, it was raw, it was vulgar at times, and it felt like a teenager was voicing the story the entire time. This book is not for everyone. If you are looking for some cookie cutter, coming of age tale that ends with true love conquering all or some Disney-esque crap like that… steer clear! The fact that Lena Dunham wrote a raving review for this book should probably raise a red flag if you don’t like her style of writing. Just saying. None the less, I was so pleased with this book, I went and bought Moran’s non-fiction book, How to Be a Woman. I can’t wait to dig into this one! But first, I should finish the other five books that I am in the middle of reading. I wish that was a joke. #bookwormforlife
Last, but not least, I want to share my love for I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert. That’s right! Not just a killer Sleater-Kinney song! This book is about a girl who was born into a family with a dark secret surrounded by self made soundtrack. Emily Black is a punk rocker with a Daddy who has a heart of gold. When her mother disappeared, Emily’s father set his music aside to take care of his daughter. Emily was a well rounded girl with a knack for nabbing “rock gods”, but soon, her and her partner in crime go from sleeping with rock gods to being them. As Emily’s music career grows bigger and bigger, her personal life begins to suffer. She finally realizes what she needs, answers.. answers that only her mother can give her, but what happens if she never finds her?
This books was beautiful. Maybe it hit me at the right time, but I couldn’t put it down. It tugged at my heart strings, made me happy, made me mad, and even had me reflecting on decisions I have made in my own love life. I liked that this not only had a female perspective on love, but also as a woman trying to make it in the music industry. One message that i got from this book is that sometimes confronting your person demons form your past or even stepping on stage in front of a room full of people isn’t nearly has difficult has letting your guard down and falling in love.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this first installment of Drowing in Books with Krystal Lake. There will be many more to come in the near future. Let me know what coming of age tales you would recommend in the comments below.
Stay Sweet and Twisted,