Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I caught trends like I caught colds

While reading Bleak House, I broke up my reading time with this book of essays written by teenage girls. The editor, Amy Goldwater, sent out a request for submission on any subject, as long as the writing was true. She was amazed with the results and complies them according to subject and then by age.

"Karl Marx said that religion was the opiate of the masses. We, Mr. Marx! We have this oh-so-shiny new development. It's called the television, and if it isn't religion, then I don't know what is."

There are 58 different girls who have pieces in this book and each one was interesting and made me revert back to my teenage self. The angst of high school, parents divorce, crushes, and the struggle to fit in all made me taste the cafeteria egg salad sandwiches and feel the sting of tears in my eyes from notes passed back and forth. But it also made me think of the fun of being a teenager, the thrill of driving anywhere with your friends, sneaking out, and wearing too much makeup.

Some of the essays are better written than others, but these are still developing writers. This book is an easy read for the most part (if you can get past those high school flash-backs) and was a nice contrast to Dickens. These girls come from so many different backgrounds and all have voices that demand to be heard. And I was happy to listen.

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