Every year the dreaded summer reading assignments come pouring in from over-zealous Language Arts teachers in the Borough of Snobville. And this summer was no different. My daughter The Spare, about to become a high school freshman, was slapped with two reading requirements. One is an assigned book, The House on Mango Street. According to the assignment instructions, she has to deconstruct the work paragraph by paragraph, using Jacques Derrida's methods as her rubric.
Slight exaggeration, that. But only slight.
The other assignment was a self-chosen novel. Spare has to write a three-paragraph summary of that one.
There was one catch. Spare hates to read. If she peruses her Facebook in the course of the day, she figures she's done all the reading necessary to her life.
Our ballerina friend Cassie has been reading this series of books called Twilight. She had become so obsessed with the lead character that she stayed up all night for three nights in a row so that she would be conditioned to all-nighters. It was her intention to read the final installment in the series the minute it came out at midnight last Saturday and not stop until she'd done it.
Spare and I spent almost two hours in a Barnes & Noble last week trying to find a novel that would be as captivating as Facebook. I loathe big-box stores of any kind, and with a hurting leg this was a hellish afternoon. Finally, in desperation, I suggested that The Spare try this Twilight thing. It's long -- over 500 pages -- but we did the math and figured we could git r done with time left over for the Derrida project.
Spare brought the book home and opened it with all the enthusiasm you feel when you get your electric bill. And within two hours I could not pry the book from her hand. She read a 500 page novel in less than a week and begged for the sequel. Right now she's sitting downstairs, reading.
Twilight is about a normal high school girl and her love for a sexy vampire dude she meets in her classes. The prose is horrendous, the pace makes a sloth look lively, but apparently this ill-fated love story is candy to the teenage taste buds. Twilight is the "it" series this summer, and the movie will soon be in theaters near you. Here's the leading man. Not my cuppa tea, but everybody can't be Cary Grant.
So, what's your favorite book-to-movie? Mine is the recent version of Pride and Prejudice.
Oooops! What do I hear downstairs? The Spare is lending the first installment of Twilight to her friend. How come I'm the one who had to pay for it?