Can't Stop Reading

Lucky for me I get a hefty discount at work, because I just can't seem to stop myself!

Monday, June 19, 2006

After the fantasticness that was Nick and Norah, I thought I should give David Levithan by himself a go. So this morning I picked up The Realm of Possibility, a book of poetry. Which I didn't realize was poetry until I started reading it.

Each of these poems is from the perspective of a different teenager, though they are all going to school together, and often involved with each other. A more organized reader than I might want to create some kind of chart, because I found it hard to keep track of them all. I also found the collection a little uneven. Some of the pieces were amazing and wonderful, and to be truthful, I skipped ahead through several because I got bored.

My absolute favourite was My Girlfriend is in Love with Holden Caulfield. It's hilarious, and not just because I was having a conversation the other day with someone who didn't believe my assertion that some people don't like Catcher in the Rye. Everything that Tyler says about Holden is true, but try telling that to a teenage girl. Holden Caulfield is the ultimate teenage romantic hero. Who among us was not in love with him? (Please note that this question is rhetorical, and I don't need emails saying how you thought Holden was a jerk). In fact, this piece is so great, that I am going to quote almost of all of it to you here:

My girlfriend is in love with Holden Caulfield and it is driving me CRAZY. She has read that book thirteen times, which is about eleven more times than she has bothered to read me. Everything she sees now is PHONY. Starbucks is PHONY. Our teachers are PHONY. Society is PHONY. And love- well love is the phoniest of all. At first I tried real hard to argue, but that made me one of THEM and not HIM. She tells me he is sweet because he wants to stop all of the little children from running off a cliff. And I say can you possibly think of a situation where a group of children would be running towards a cliff? And she says I just DON'T GET IT. Which is her way of saying she just doesn't get me, and how can I get everything so wrong. Not like Holden, who would be like, seventy years old right now, but is frozen at this age that I can't wait to leave.

And then:

If I took up with hookers, if I drank my daddy's money away, if I ridiculed everyone, it wouldn't be charming. She wouldn't love that in me. And, yes, Holden would keep those kids from falling off a cliff, but WHO WOULDN'T? Does she think I would just fold my arms or give them a pat on the back before they sailed headfirst to the ground? We are all catchers, and it's sad that she doesn't see it.

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan
ISBN 0375836578
224 pages


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