Tag Archives: memory loss

I Won’t Be ‘Forgotten’ How Bad This Book Is

London Lane has amnesia, Fifty First Dates style. As in, every night at 4:33 a.m. her mind becomes a blank slate. However, unlike Drew Barrymore, London can remember her future.
This little malady as you might imagine, causes her some difficulties. Since she keeps this a secret from everyone but her mother and her best friend Jamie, all her teachers and schoolmates just think she is hopelessly stupid and forgetful. London programs her phone and writes herself helpful reminders (that seem completely unhelpful) like what to wear that day. I keep wondering why she doesn’t print out her class schedule or keep some sort of detailed dossier, but this is just one of the many things that drives me nuts about her freakish imaginary mental disorder.
After I finished this book I kept having a hard time nailing down exactly what it was that made me hate poor, afflicted London. After taking a quick second look through the book it came rushing back to me. Its not just Cat Patrick’s limp, teenage-attempt-at-poetry writing, or the major plot holes or incongruities or the empty dialogue. I mean, it’s some of those things. But mainly I hate London because she is a whiny, self-obsessed bitch. This is the girl that thinks things like,”even though I have the benefit of knowing that I’ll grow more beautiful each day- and that Carly will never look better than she does right now…” or that frequently notes that her best friend (and only person that can stand her) Jamie, looks “alarmingly like a hooker” and is the “kind of girl boys love to flirt with-not date.”

Jeez with friends like these! London also has a less than charming Bella Swan-esque habit of disdaining anyone that seems eager to be kind or friendly to her. I think, we the reader, are supposed to infer that these unfortunates that always are around to lend London gym clothes, or help her in class, are ‘uncool’ and therefore worthy of London’s inner-monologue sneers. Know that I think of it, London really is the poor man’s Bella Swan here; no magical boyfriends, but plenty of moaning, ‘adorable’ clumsiness, and general lack-of-personality disorder.

Instead of Edward, London has Luke Henry, omg-so-cute new boy whose ‘vintage band tshirts’ and ‘chuck taylors’ let us know that he’s so hipster and like, totally bored with the whole mainstream style, man. Oh, and he’s an artist.  When London meets Luke she can’t remember him, or I guess more accurately, can’t future (I will now be using this as a verb, take note) him. Major plot hole alert.

Let me ruin the rest of it for you…

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Boxcar Children with a Hint of ‘Lost’

Mike isn't important enough to make the cover.

Last time the children knew Grandfather was up to something because he seemed angry.  In an interesting (I’m using the adjective loosely here) change of events, this time they know something is up because he’s happy – he’s joking with Benny, and it’s an event to be remarked on and remembered and followed closely.  At length.  It really gives you some insight into day-to-day life with Grandfather, when any hint of emotion is an anomaly to be noted.  I can only imagine that his normal state of being is a kind of catatonic, drugged out bliss—with blank eyes and a frozen expression of nothingness.

This time Grandfather has surprised his brood of orphans with a trip to the South Seas!  Not on a cruise ship, as you’d imagine, but instead on a freighter, probably running illicit cargo to Tahiti.  Grandfather had planned on just taking them to San Francisco and then he considered Tahiti (probably to sell as house slaves), but THEN his friend tells him about first mate Lars Larson (Gertie’s not too creative about naming people.  It’s probably where Benny gets his skillz.  Remember Potato Camp?)  Lars got shipwrecked on this deserted island for an indeterminate amount of time, and it was so much fun (!) that he wants to go back FOR VACATION.  I think Lars has PTSD.  Sidebar – in another interesting insight of Life with James Henry (LWJH from now on), when the kids come in to meet Lars for the first time, Grandfather announces that he’s their friend from now on.  He just decrees it so, and no one bats an eye.  Let’s take a poll about why we think that he declares Lars their friend, so saith JH, let it be written instead of letting them decide if they actually want to be friends with this middle-aged stranger who has appeared in their living room and has whispered conversations with their grandfather behind closed doors.  He calls them all “Mr.” and “Miss,” so he knows his place.  This is probably why they don’t have more friends.

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