Thursday, March 04, 2010

Lonely Werewolf Girl

Lonely Werewolf Girl was published in the UK in 2007, and somehow escaped my notice until fairly recently. Needless to say, it was quickly rectified. It's written by Martin Millar, who's supposedly agoraphobic (what a coincidence!) and the book is self-published, which is pretty cool considering its success.

Lonely Werewolf Girl is categorized as a YA book and, in fact, I picked it up in the YA section of my fave Chicago book store, Women and Children First. I'm not sure it's exactly a book for teenagers or kids. Then I started thinking about how someone recently called me an "adult" and I got sort of surprised. So, I started thinking, "Am I not a young... adult?" Is it possible that all this time YA books are literally meant for Young Adults like me, dopey ladies in their 30s?

As you might suspect, Lonely Werewolf Girl is about this girl (14 yrs old), who's a werewolf (born one). She's not only lonely, a bit of rogue, but she's bulimic, suicidal, nearly illiterate, drug-addicted, and a cutter. Lonely werewolf girl isn't really the main character, even though most of the story circles around her. The most relate-able characters are a couple of humans who get involved in the plots and schemes of all these werewolves and folks from different dimensions and whatnot. The non-humans are mostly unpleasant and have bad personalities, not being bound by the social norms that most of us humans ascribe to (which is fodder for someone else's web post).

The book draws inevitable comparisons to Twilight, which I am powerless to avoid. Like Twilight, one of the main characters has an extremely unpleasant personality who makes you wonder, "Am I seriously supposed to feel SYMPATHETIC toward this girl????" And it's about a bunch of nonsense creatures that walk around in the modern world talking on their cell phones and having star-crossed love and being ridiculously moody. About 20 pages in, I thought, if this is some more uptight, sexless Twilight bullshit, I'm OUT. And then:
Gawain was the most handsome of werewolves, and he had once been her lover. On her fourteenth birthday she'd crept into his bed at Castle MacRinnalch and after that they were never out of each other's company. They had a year of insane joy before he was banished. Kalix yearned to see him again, but she knew he was never coming back.

OK, then. Unlike the Twilight series, it's very funny, it's progressive (pro-cross-dressing!), and, unlike Twilight, it isn't written so badly you curse the author for destroying the English language for you.

At 558 pages, I thought it was a bit long, although, I really enjoyed reading it and when I was stressed out at work I daydreamed about laying on a beach reading this book all day. I also think the author doesn't write women very well - it was as if he thought to himself, "Hmmm... what are girls into? Clothes, and shopping! And big, clunky shoes!" So. There's that. But.

Guess what? There's a sequel coming soon.

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