I could copy and paste everything about the awesome concert at Cafe du Nord last Tuesday, or you could just visit the Facebook album, which has pictures and captions and says things and has links to songs.
Here are the key points:
- I convinced five people to go with me, only one of whom (incidentist) had ever heard of the band. Rebecca, whom I'd met at Tris's going-away party, didn't even know what kind of music they played until we told her at dinner.
- As soon as the first song started, everyone was immediately in love. "They're SO FUCKING GOOD," said Rebecca. "SO WORTH IT," said Dan's friend, Steph, during the second song. That is how they good they are.
- The concert was awesome.
- Bronies are bronies.
- Ashleigh remembered me!
- Ashleigh gave me a hug.
I have been looking forward to reading Cold Kiss, by Amy Garvey, since I first read a portion back in 2009 (the author is a friend), as the premise was intriguing: what if you brought your boyfriend back from the dead...and he came back wrong?
Wren is a witch, as are all the women in her family, though they don't like to talk about it. She has powers she doesn't quite know how to control. But when her boyfriend, Danny, dies, she decides to bring him back. Except he's not the Danny she once knew. He is a broken, cold shell, barely able to survive without her. And now that she's done the unthinkable, the worst thing that could happen would be for the cute new boy in town, Gabriel, to take a sudden interest in her. A little too much interest. Now she has to both face what she's done as well as face the possibility that she might like this boy.
Cold Kiss is a very simple story, and some aspects are undeveloped. There is very little worldbuilding, and the how and why of Wren's powers are not really the focus of the book. The reason the book works is that Wren's story can work on several levels. In the basest sense, it is about dealing with grief and the loss of a loved one, having to move on and let go. But there is also a layer of loving someone with a mental illness, someone who is no longer the person you loved, not completely. How do your feelings destroy you and your relationships with everyone else? Your friends, your family? The main plot of Wren and Danny and Gabriel is solid and affecting, enhanced with lots of minor details that make their relationships feel real and alive. Although there is a sequel, the story comes to a satisfying, conclusive end.
Although a sequel to Cold Kiss wasn't planned, I was certainly happy to read more of Wren's story in Glass Heart. This book is more complex than the first, juggling a few subplots that all generally deal with the same thing: Wren's relationship with magic and how dangerous it is. At times, it veers annoyingly close to Willow's magicrack storyline (MAGIC IS A DRUG YOU GUYS), but, thankfully, Garvey never takes it that far, instead using the metaphor as, well, an actual metaphor. To stick with the Buffy comparison, I like that the story does use the ways Wren comes to term with her powers and how they affect her relationship with other people to portray the sort of coming-of-age conflicts teenagers go through. Unlike Buffy, however, it's much more grounded, and I appreciated how the world felt realistic with a hint of magic here; it made the story and characters very relatable.