Saturday, August 6, 2011

Storytime pt.2

Well we all know about me and reading from the last entry being very much rooted around my inner core self so I don't need to go over that again but I have been reading another book by the same authoress as the last one.
Called Little Darlings, Jacqueline Wilson tells the story of two very different girls both struggling with what passes for family life in very different surroundings.
Destiny is very much down at heels living on the better part of a rough social housing estate with a mother in debt working in three part time jobs trying to makes meet.
Sunset is in some respects the spoilt well off girl living in gated world with assistants and security people who can have whatever she asks Daddy a vain aging rockstar for.
Mom is a young woman to whom Daddy has left a few others over the years but the fight a lot with Daddy running off.
Sunset hates the phony posh schoolkids she sees every day who are into just expressing themselves and longs for some structure in her childhood and an end to just being an appendage to a celebratory make believe life.
But these two girls have more in common than either of them thought as they are in fact sisters with Destiny being the offspring of a short lived relationship with dad Danny who denies her very existence to keep up the whole rock star happy families image!

What I like about it is the gritty well drawn picture of what is the reality for some, split families,  well drawn characters that reference contemporary pop culture (for good or ill) and the spirit that leads the girls into a friendship that bridges the divide.

Otomen Volumes 8 to 10
Phew, doesn't time fly, eh. The last time I blogged about Otomen was way back in November  23rd 2010.
I don't feel like repeating myself on what is hot day here, but I've just finished reading Volume 10 and the last volume we talked about was 7 so be sure to dig out the relevant entries for the background but it's the high school set story of two lovers Asuka and Ryo neither of which conform to gender stereotypes and contradictory personal likes.
On the outset of Episode 8 we see Ryo leaving the Academy to look after her ill grandfather having had a farewell concert put on in her honour.
After a while Asuka and friends become concerned the burden of doing this on her own maybe too much so Asuka travels over seeing the clueless Ryo - domesticity never being her strong point- and takes over.
After a while Grandfather recovers and shocks the couple by revealing he too was an Otomen who had to keep his love of girly things a secret!
Anyhow he  returns to Tokyo with them.
Upon returning to the Academy something is very much afoot as cousin of Asuka called Kasuga transfers establishing the Morals Committee of the Student Body to suppress gender noncomformity. doing inspections, banning the gardening and flower clubs and even trying to hypnotize them. Perhaps this is a reaction to the shame he felt about Asuka's fathers situation (see Vol:1) so he's trying to prevent similar situations. Even the teaching staff are changed and a new female teacher is introduced to push girls away from sports and intellectual tasks to crafts and just being well obsessed with cuteness in the belief that's what boys really want.
For a while it seems to work but in the end the couple and their friends find it wears off as they cannot help being themselves not that it effected Asuka's ability to be the lead in the Kendo club defeating the new teacher at the sport.

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