Hullo there. This is another old post that I forgot to post. But I think it needs to be HEARD. The part about YA, that is. The part about Chicago is shockingly bitter, even for me, so you can ignore it. But listen, I wrote it in a very cold winter month called May when I felt like I would never see a drop of sunlight again. It’s finally summer, so I feel less inclined to stomp on Chicago’s soul. I’m still bitter that we didn’t get a real spring, though.
This traumatizing “moment” is actually a traumatizing nine years.
Nine years of living in Chicago.
Do you like what I did there? I employed a literary technique called the Young Adult Novel’s Desperate Grab For Your Attention. It’s when you set a sentence fragment apart from the rest of the text.
The YANDGFYA is useful for entrapping “reluctant readers” deep within the snare of your twisted I-owe-a-massive-debt-to-Twilight genius. Reluctant readers see a big scary block of text and they’re like AHHH WORDZ WILL EAT ME! But then, like a ray of sunlight breaking through a storm cloud, they see the YANDGFYA.
And they feel hope.
Hope…and the ability to read on, on past the next pun, past the next makeover scene in which the protagonist pretends to know nothing about makeup because she’s a charming tomboy (“Then my bff Patricia put some sparkly stuff on my eyes. I looked into the mirror and a different girl was looking out at me. She was…she was pretty.“), past the next tense scene filled with sexual innuendo intended to go over the heads of younger readers (“So,” I said, “What do you want to do to me? I mean, do with me?”), past the clunky character development until they reach the next YANDGFYA.
ANYWAY, sorry for being so chock-full of literary references that I can’t even talk about the weather (YES THE WEATHER) without talking about books. Ah! Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! (wipes a trembling tear from bottom eyelash.)
What I meant to say before going on a rant about YA literature is that I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Chicago. It’s a cold industrial city with a vapid soul. But even more than Chicago, I can’t stand it when people are like “BUT CHICAGO IS SO _____” Look, I’m glad you have fun strolling around Wrigleyville with your pick of ten thousand and five different Asian restaurants and WOW, THERE’S A JEWEL! HOW CONVENIENT IS THAT? Just please, go to one of the grimy public buildings (libraries, museums, they’re all gross) and drincessorize with a McDonalds coffee and I hope you feel happy pretending that there is something meaningful about living next to a fake ocean in a sea of fake art.
But I know it’s not Chicago’s fault that it’s landlocked like this. And I do love the lake. Despite how disgusting it is. I don’t think I could live without a large body of water nearby. A large body of water like the pool of tears that is my heart when I read YA literature.