Kristy giving Macy a makeover is like manna from the heavens. Absolutely right, Macy needs some Kristy-style in small doses and remove her from her boring, straight hair, boring clothes, boring Macy mode. Some jeans and a boob-baring tank sound pretty good.
Kristy and Monica live with their fabulous grandmother Stella in a double-wide. (Here in Australia we call them caravans, so your trailer parks are our caravan parks.) It sounds magical with the cobalt blue and the blossoming garden, almost like a fairytale. Living in such a small confined space sounds like gaol. I am sure that there is a happy medium to them both.
I simply adore that the topic of Kristy’s scars from multiple surgeries is brought up in such a matter-of-fact way. It seems so true to the character that she would spill the story with no guile. This poor girl has suffered immense grief and pain with the loss of her mother in that the automobile accident and she keeps on keeping on. She must be admired for such strength of character. “Get it out in the open” seems to be her personal mantra, something that Macy should think about adopting.
Monica’s apparent apathy about the accident is an interesting trait too. According to Kristy she feels guilty for having chicken pox that day. I suspect she does. I have to say this for Monica, I would flee too if someone proposed that I wear pleather.
Penny loafers are always mentioned in American literature and I have no idea what they are. Are they like boating shoes? Time for an internet search.
“…So many bits and pieces, all diverse, could make something whole. Something with potential.”
I love the positive vibe but it saddens me that she thought she was (perhaps) without potential beforehand. It’s amazing what some curl can do to someone’s self confidence.
I cannot quite seem to reconcile the idea of an old ambulance with a couch and table in the back. It sounds ridiculous and awesome all at the same time. I would be worried about travelling in the back of it just because I am a scaredy cat. I can imagine sitting on that couch, sliding up and down the back of that rusty old heap.
The party sounds like every typical American beer bash that I have ever read or watched. In a clearing, a keg at the ready and those red cups you Americans seem so fond on. For another point of diversity I will say that Aussies tend to do cans rather than the keg. I love the mention of tension felt by Macy as she’s a Jackson High student rather than a Talbot student. Those invisible lines of division can be so worrying.
My heart sank for Bert when Rachel ignored him and continued to pester Macy about their past history. Unrequited love (or lust) blows. I love the recycling/bicycling mix up, it’s something one of my friends would have got confused about thus providing years of hounding. I love that Rachel (even drunkenly) talks about how fast Macy truly was. We’ve heard Macy almost dismiss her accomplishments but having an outsider’s perspective drives home the idea that this girl was talented.
Rachel’s last remark about the general student consensus that Macy’s messed up is pretty confronting. As is her detailing Macy witnessing her father’s death in front of a group of people she’s unfamiliar with. The lack of sensitivity is astounding but understandable as she’s fuelled by alcohol. What grows from this interchange is beautiful. Her newly discovered friends start dogging the girl who was insensitive. I think if you need the concept of odd numbers explained to you twice, in high school, you are asking to be mocked. It was a nice way to eleviate the tension and take Macy’s mind off the encounter, if even for a second. Each of these teenagers – Macy, Monica, Kristy, Bert and Wes – have lost a parent and Macy’s pain is theirs too. With Kristy’s hand in hers and the special wordless exchange with Wes, Macy feels less alone and understood. I wish she’d met this crew eighteen months before.
Kristy is great at diffusion I have realised, whether working a catering job or distracting Macy, she’s a real pro. Her rant about boys was genius and reminded me of one of my really good friends. I like that Kristy noted, or said she noticed, on the first night that Macy didn’t react to Wes in a sa-woon like manner. All girls know what Kristy means by sa-woon. It’s universal girl code, isn’t it?
“Is he ninety years old?”
Thank you, Kristy! Thank you for paraphrasing Jason’s douche-baggery (I think I created a word) in your delightful plain speaking style. Thank you for making Macy face the fact that in forming an attachment over an eighteen month period, she hadn’t actually provided Jason with a legitimate reason to dump her.
“…Anyone that can make you feel that bad about yourself is toxic…”
Yep. Macy needs to remove Jason from her life like one of those nose stickies removes blackheads. Just rip it off, baby. Kristy tells these home truths and then follows it immediately with compassion so Macy understands that she’s not attacking her.
“…Our forever could end in an hour, or a hundred years from now. You can never know for sure, so you’d better make every second count.”
That there is some sage advice we all need to remember. We are lucky, we should live like we are blessed.
“Don’t be afraid. Be alive.”
Sometimes I feel this book edges towards self-help language but it works in an organic way. Perhaps this is due to it’s words rising from such a literally and figuratively scarred individual? My boarding house had a motto for making each moment count – seize the toast! I figure you take what you’ve got.
Wes approaches Macy. Most girls would see this action as a little bit of a confidence boost but not our Macy. The muteness and the Helen Keller impression made me giggle. It’s still something I haven’t grown out of in my adult years. Putting yourself out there can be stressful. The tattoo was a good opening though.
The tattoo is a curious aspect. I had forgotten what his tattoo was of in the time between reads. I like that the tattoo’s of something intensely personal to him, something he wishes to carry on his person. Too often people get tattoos as a fashion statement – I ask now what does a butterfly above your backside really mean to you? I like his explanation or should I say his mother’s –
“…the hand and the heart, how they were connected…You know, feeling and action are always linked, one cannot exist without the other.”
Hippie it might be but it is true nevertheless. Jason was giving Macy neither – no feeling, no action, nothing.
Wes is a genius, just like Dexter he used a challenge to animate the apple of his eye. The topic of running was again discussed and I like the idea that the brooding artist type that is Wes, runs. It’s a nice break from the stereotype. She runs fast, almost flies and I think he would really like to see her in flight, legs stretched, hair trailing behind her. Actually, I would like to see that too.