Seventeen: It tasted like a lot of different pairs of lips. It was chlorine-bleached crunchy hair And hollow-eyed fucking in the woods, like ghosts. I was seven-fucking-teen. And I was fucking invincible. I had too much room to grow, and no idea what to do with it all. Nothing ever went wrong when I was seventeen; But I was seventeen, And of course we were hurtling towards the sun.
Many of us go through a point in our lives, maybe several times in our lives, where we feel we have a loss of purpose. We’ve buried our passions and aspirations under layers of materialistic concepts fabricated by our society. Who are we? And how do we “re-discover” ourselves?
The Virgin Suicides (1999)* Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)* Shadow of a Doubt (1943)* Rusalochka (1976) Palo Alto (2013)* La Belle Personne (2008) The Moth Diaries (2013)* Prozac Nation (2001) Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975)* Clueless (1995)* The Craft (1996)* Stealing Beauty (1996)* Barbe Bleue (2009) Heathers (1988) Labyrinth (1986)* Sleeping Beauty (2011) Violet and Daisy (2011)* Hanna (2011) Augustine (2012) Girl, Interrupted (1999)* Ginger Snaps (2000)* Dirty Girl (2010) Perfect Sisters (2014) The Sisterhood of Night (2015) Baby Doll (1956) Girly (1970) Somersault (2004)* Foxfire (1996) Electrick Children (2012) Tanner Hall (2009) But I’m A Cheerleader (1999)
Sweet Angel Mine (1996) Sister, Sister (1987) Wilderness Survival for Girls (2004) Pinprick (2009) We Are What We Are (2013) Spring Breakers (2012) Black Swan (2010)* Ask Me Anything (2014)* Elsewhere (2009)* Triple Dog (2010) Adult World (2014) Stoker (2013)* Ghost World (2001)*
“She was an island, bound to no land, doomed to float in obscurity”
Set in the 1920’s, Laura Stratford, the British aristocrat trapped by family obligation, and Laura Elliott, the strong, beautiful girl, begging for freedom, duel for control. Laura Elliott-Stratford whisked off to Britain after her father’s death, struggles to fit in and to be herself. With the help of Graham, Sarah, and Jeremy, her recently acquainted friends, she just might do that.
I loved this book, and will definitely read it again and again. Claire’s complex and imperfect characters draw you in and the world she builds around them makes you stay. I went in thinking this was an average romance novel and I got to meet this sophisticated yet relatable heroine, who I will miss dearly. I would recommend this book to anyone. With a mixture of historical fiction, romance, and finding oneself, I believe anyone who picks it up will fall in love with it as I have.
The year started with innocence.
A girl with big, hazel eyes,
who believed in love.
Her dimples were as deep as the ocean.
Her mind was filled with ambition and her body had never been touched.
That girl slowly slipped away as he entered her system.
Vodka swam through her veins
Drugs began clouding her mind.
Her eyes became blood shot.
Her body never became familiar with his touch.
Instead her body became an instrument to give to boys who may help her forget him.
She never forgot.
Every kiss made her crave his lips.
Every time she dropped to her knees she wished it was in front of him.
Every black out came with phone calls to him.
She tried to forget him, but somehow at seventeen one person can change your life.
In celebration of my 21st birthday, here are my headcanons on Killjoy birthdays:
Everyone in the zones has two names; a killjoy name (ex: Party Poison) and a secret name (ex: Gerard). When a child is born in the zones, they’re known only as Motorbaby. Their parents give them a secret name at birth but no one else knows it. On their fifth birthday, their secret name is shared with people they think of as family.
Killjoy come of age when they’ve earned their killjoy name, regardless of their actual age.
The first birthday a killjoy has after coming of age is celebrated with alcohol.
It’s nearly impossible to know the exact date in the zones, so killjoys tend to celebrate birthdays by seasons: if you were born in winter you celebrate the next winter. To avoid having the same birthday, the eldest killjoy will have the first birthday of the season and so on.
Birthdays are celebrated on days when killjoys have a moment of peace.
Those that follow the Phoenix Witch bury an item that they believe represents the year of their life. They bury it in a special place in the sand as thanks for watching over them.
Thoughts: I can’t tell you how amazing it is to read a book about a badass gender non-conforming butch lesbian of color who knows who she is and won’t take shit from all the people in her life trying to make her be someone else - her parents, her Catholic school, or her dirtbag teenage guy friends.
Other characters are confused by Pen’s gender non-conformity - “Are you trying to be a boy?” “Are you trans?” - but she knows that she is a girl. She’s just comfortable as a masculine girl: short hair, borrowing her brother’s clothes, hanging with the boys playing video games, and dreaming about getting a girlfriend. She gets a lot of shit from people for it, but she never stops being herself.
Pen is also a first generation Portuguese immigrant in Canada, and
cultural differences and language barriers make it hard for Pen to
explain that she can’t be the pretty, nice girl her parents want her to
The book is very character driven and not plot-heavy. If you’re looking for a book about a butch lesbian fighting to be herself in her relationships with family and friends, read this book.
Warnings: Sexual assault/attempted sexual coercion, general straight teenage boy douchebag behavior (homophobia, misogyny, slurs), teenage pregnancy, alcohol and marijuana consumption (*details/spoilers below)