Wednesday, April 07, 2010

David Levithan - Boy Meets Boy

In the acknowledgments, Levithan said that this book began as a Valentine's day gift, a story for his friends. It read as a love letter to them, their inside jokes and their lives. Given that premise, I totally fell in love with this book and the fantasy town in which it takes place. In the real world, I could see where people would have problems with the easy lives and outlandish characters in the novel. Taken as a gift, I suspended any disbelief and just enjoyed the sweet story.

Valentine's day is hard for a lot of people and it's hard to shake if it gets you so down. It was so syrupy sweet and sentimental, but in spite of all that or maybe even because of it, I loved it. If someone told me about the book before I read it, revealed the utopian/gay-friendly fantasy world that housed the absolutely ridiculous characters, I think I would have rolled my eyes and hated it. Because it came with a sweet disclaimer, I was completely taken under the story's spell. Maybe it's because I know what it's like to write, knowing that someone else will see the words I've put down. A wink to real life, maybe a nickname or a joke that someone's made, it's fun for you and for them. It can be nice for an outsider to look in on that too, to escape to that world.

Boy Meets Boy is the story of Paul, his relationship with his best friend, a bitter ex and a blossoming new relationship. Not everything is sunshine and rainbows, (I promise, despite the utopia I described above) but no matter the stumbling blocks that the characters come across, you get the sense that everything is going to be just fine in the end.

Recommended for people who have had a hard day, who want to wrap up in a blanket, curl up and read a story from beginning to end.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

First Listen: 30 Seconds to Mars - "Bad Romance" cover

I was hoping that this would be hilarious. It wasn't, really. It was moody, scary, and it's safe to say that they put their usual 30STM spin on it. As a lover of profanity in my music, I love this cover, but I'm not sure it was good. - Lanie

I'm confused by the alt-country vibe Jared Leto is working on his vocals in this track. The vocalizations have this bizarre twang to them that I'm really not feeling. Every time I start getting into it, that twang throws me back out. The instrumentation, however, is fabulous. I'd love to get my hands on an instrumental track for this, because it was just that good. I'm used to Live Lounge stuff being acoustic (Panic! At The Disco's version of "Maneater," Fightstar's "Battlefield," Paramore's "Use Somebody"), so this is a nice change. The lyrical changes are interesting, to say the least, but I have to say that they lost points with me for removing the Hitchcock references. One thing about the song, other than the instrumentation that I wholeheartedly approved of was the near-scream going from the bridge into the last chorus - I just wish he'd carried it all the way through to the chorus instead of backing down. On the whole, not my favorite cover of "Bad Romance" (I really like A Smile From The Trenches's cover from the Classic Vs. Modern compilation), but it's not terrible. If it shuffled up I'd probably listen to it, but I'm not going to be putting it on repeat. Interesting, on the whole. - Julieann