Day 28 – First favorite book or series obsession
Francesca Lia Block’s Dangerous Angels series, in 7th grade. My best friend in 7th grade, Roxanne, was a really smart girl who would have been in the advanced level classes – if she hadn’t flat-out refused to read the books on our English class reading lists. (Which included Lord of the Flies and The Scarlet Letter and shit like that.) She’d already read them, hadn’t particularly liked them, and didn’t see the point to reading them again. Unfortunately for her, she actually voiced this opinion, instead of gliding through English with an easy A – and got stuck in the “LD” classes (“learning disability” – I don’t know what they’re called these days). But that turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because the LD teacher diagnosed Roxanne as a “reluctant teen reader.” No, seriously, that was the official term. And the upshot was, that Roxanne got to read books most of us didn’t, and that were by far so much better than what we read in “regular” or “advanced” English. Which is how Roxanne came to read Francesca Lia Block (because Weetzie Bat was on a list of books “for reluctant teen readers”), and how I came to read FLB: Roxanne pulled me aside in homeroom one day and told me I HAD to chuck what I was reading for English class (since I’d read it before anyway) and read Weetzie Bat immediately. And that was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. (Between me and FLB’s books, since I went to a different school for 8th grade and high school, and fell out of touch with Roxanne.)
Roxanne also was responsible for introducing me to the Dragonlance novels, which prepped me for the playing D&D, Cyberpunk, CyberGeneration, Shadowrun, and White Wolf in 8th grade. Good stuff.