professornana (professornana) wrote,

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thankfully, home

I was way too exhausted yesterday to attempt a posting. At least I am home. Not so for my pal Martha who was grounded in DC on her way home. Ironically, she was also grounded on her way in to Nashvillle. I told her to take this as an omen about coming back to the Habitrail again.

In any event, I managed to read the new Cecil Castellucci on the plane ride home. From the opening note to the final crescendo, BEIGE soars like a note ripped from a Hendrix riff. Katy must go and live with her father, aka Rat from the group Suck, while her mother is off on a dig. Rat lives in what Katy can only term chaos (or is it squalor) and, while he wants to connect with his daughter, Katy has not had much contact with him since her childhood. Katy abhors Rat's music and is counting the days until she can return to the life she loves. Nicknamed BEIGE by the daughter of one of her father's band mates, Katy learns much about her father and, more importantly, about herself.

As always, Cecil (I can call her that, right, since we did lunch in the Habitrail?) crafts characters who teeter on the brink of stereotype initially. However, she never lets these characters slide into stereotype and this careful attention to detail serves to suck readers into the story and keep them there. Readers will love chapter titles as they are tracks from musicians such as Dead Kennedys and The Clash. The author knows her music and infuses this knowledge into every nook and cranny of the story of Beige and Rat.

Castellucci is one of the fabulous new voices YA literature is fortunate to have. Nurtured by her predecessors, careful readers will see the influence of the YA lit of the 80s and 90s in Cecil and her work.

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