Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Girls, Girls, Girls

The Black Book: diary of a teenage stud, vol. 1

by Jonah Black

Since this is only the third entry in my reading journal, you probably haven't caught on yet: I love teen fiction — especially about love — the sexier the better! When I was a teen myself, I used to sneak into my sister's room and secretly borrow her Sweet Valley High books and stay up all night reading them. (I preferred bad girl Jess to goody-goody Elizabeth.) Now that I'm all growed up and work in a library, I have access to a lot more, and I've become particularly fond of teen romantic fiction from the point of view of the boy.

After only a few pages, I was hooked on the Black Book series. The eponymous protagonist slips back and forth between reality and imagination in a way that I found very appealing (and very verisimilitudinous — yes, it's a word), but a colleague who also reads a lot of teen fiction was turned off by it. Mimicking that duality, it's unclear whether "Jonah" is a real teen author or someone's pen name — sort of the book equivalent of a mockumentary. (Artifiction?)

The series begins with and centers around Jonah's mystery-shrouded (and rumor-inspiring) return to Florida from a private boarding school in Pennsylvania. Next comes romantic intrigue, plus a bit of friendly and family drama. It ends after only a few tantalizingly meager clues about the central plot, unstable fixes for a couple of the subplots, and a sucker punch finale that made me yell out loud.

A quick, fun read with a likable narrator/protagonist; I'll definitely read the rest of the series.

Update 08/09/06:
I recently read the second volume, Stop, Don't Stop, and it's awesome! I could have — I wanted to — read it one sitting if I'd had that much time all at once.

Update 12/18/06:
I've finally read all four of the books. The series is good all the way through. Too bad it's over.

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