16 January 2014

Revisiting YA Fiction - Sweet Valley High

Even though I was introduced to and devoured the Sweet Valley High series when I was around 10 years old, I never want my daughters to read this total drivel. At any age. There are just so many appalling messages. Appalling. I ought to pull out my eyes and stomp on them as punishment for re-reading them, but it's like this - the books are so bad, they are good. I may or may not be trying to track down the copies that I don't have to rebuild my collection. What is wrong with me?

To a pre-teen, the 16-year old Wakefield twins, with their all-American good looks and Size 6 figures (as we are relentlessly told), were so glamorous. The stories were compelling and the characters' lives so full of drama, I couldn't wait to start high school and have my life play out like the exciting characters at eternally-sunny Sweet Valley, a place so far-removed from my own drab existence. It's only when I look back that I see how so strikingly similar their world was to my own. I mean who didn't have a tuxedo shirt and matching bow tie hanging in their wardrobe just waiting to be worn for the moment when the hottest guy in school rang to ask you out? You didn't? You're such an Enid-head.

I don't think I have shared with you yet that I am a twin, although my sister and I are not identical. Minor detail best overlooked. Dazzling beauty aside, it stands to reason to think that there might be other similarities that my sister and I share with the popular and relatable Wakefield twins.

Here is some more evidence that life truly does imitate art.
The resemblance is uncanny. You can tell by Jess's smirk there's a hipflask or two in that denim jacket.

Even though I'm more ho-bag Jess in this photo (it was an 80's theme party, which explains why I am dressed in highly flammable pink taffeta and have a dozen beers resting on my lap), I always identified more with Elizabeth. Sensible, responsible, conservative, she wanted to be a writer. Oh. Em. Gee, Lizzie, samesies. Her boyfriend, Todd, could send her into tingly orbit with just a rub of her neck. That's a mighty impressive set of fingers on him. My boyfriend couldn't do that. He did drive a dud vehicle though. However, her unwavering loyalty to conniving and manipulative Jessica really does start to wear thin on even the most fervent Elizabeth supporter.

Liz-dawg even has a matching lavaliere.
Just one more, 'mkay?
No words. Just enjoy my sister with her togs on backwards.
Yes, it takes some work to overlook the incredibly bad writing and completely unrealistic story lines but the covers are just pure gold.  As a side note, this would have to be my most favourite-est cover of them all:
Hysterical. Who would even go near someone as creepy as Scott Daniels? Total mass-murderer eyes. I would have to wash my hands just handling the book. Note to any "college" guys reading this: A mustache does not make you look older. It makes you look seven kinds of ridiculous.

Did you read this series? What was your favourite book? Please no spoilers, I still don't know if Elizabeth and Todd lasted the distance and want to find out. I am truly pathetic.

07 January 2014

Happy 2014

How are you all? It feels good to be back, although I have taken my time returning to this space. After a two week absence here, I hadn't realised just how hard it would be to start writing again. I think I am still in holiday mode so I guess the best thing to do is just write and find my groove.

I've been instagramming over the summer break, and with limited internet access on our road trip to Taranaki, found it to be an ideal way to capture and share moments of our holiday. I tend not to reuse those images in my blog posts, but you'll probably see some similar images taken on my camera. Speaking of which, I must have been a very good girl last year as Santa gave me a DSLR. I am a little intimidated by it, but having seen the difference in image quality between the Canon and my lovely, handy, compact, easy-to-use Fuji (I'm struggling to let it go), I can see why keen photographers use them. Even so, the most serious of photographers still have to find the motivation to pull out the camera and take photos. The past fortnight was spent reading escapist fiction and relaxing with family at a lovely country hideaway east of Stratford. When the mood took me, I instagrammed and left the camera mostly to my husband who captured these moments after we returned.

On rare fine days, we found ourselves at various beaches around Wellington and beyond. 
We spent time with my husband's family up at the farm near Otaki and (stunning sunset aside) while the weather was not wonderful there either, it was an opportunity for everyone to escape from the usual routine, recharge and connect with each other.
Now that we are home again, I am voraciously reading all the blogs I follow, breaking out my crochet hook, hoping to declutter some very neglected interior spaces and will try to establish a garden (it's not pretty out there people) all the while trying to keep my children's boredom bugs at bay. There are only four weeks until the start of the new school year. It will be a year of change for this family, with our youngest child, Aimee, starting school in September. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that, but when that time comes, I am sure you will hear all about it (ha!).