rating: 2 of 5 stars
Oh my. Very, very different than ttyl. I didn't really like that book, but more because I thought that the conceit was ill-served by the ordinary plot.
Here, though, the plot is anything but ordinary. We're in Atlanta, in 1969. Bliss intheMeadow (yep, a real hippie last name) is living with her very stereotyped grandmother after her parents flee to Canada to avoid the draft. This is a very different world than the commune... the social work center... or any other place Bliss has lived.
She's sent to Crestview Academy, one of the "white flight" schools. There, she finds some friends and even a boyfriend. Lurking in all of this, though, is the ages-before death of Liliana, who committed suicide/was driven to her death because of her unnatural "blood power". At first, we're led to believe that Sarah Lynn is the one communing with Liliana, but later we learn it's not. By the end, Liliana (now Lurl) has won, and Bliss is almost invisible.
The juxtaposition of Mayberry and the Tate-LoBianca murders with this story are, I suppose, to help readers really get a sense of the clash of the times. Ditto the casual use of racial epithets contrasting with what teens seem to know is a better way. I was amused by the naming of the cat "Regular" (instead of "Familiar") and Liliana's former "supplicant" being Agnes Nutter (Discworld, anyone?). But overall, this book wasn't as disturbing as, say Carrie or Harvest Home, or as representative of the clash of cultures that took place in the late 60s as I'd hoped.
My guess is that placing this rather disturbing book in the past, Myracle was trying to distance it from her "texty" books but it feels like two books mushed into one.
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