Monday, March 28, 2011

Really, everything from Middle school is Embarrassing.

A while ago I called up the horrifically embarrassing little tales I had written when I was younger and once again, my awkward past came up again in a Facebook chat as my friend Noah and I started discussing what we had read in middle school. We English majors have our origins and not all of them are as studious and glorious as they can be imagined...

Noah shared that he read a book called On the Run, a book about a Southerner's journey up north, fishing and soul searching. Clearly, this is a story I can picture that captured his own interests as a reader and boy living in Virginia. This was a legitimate book.

I say that because when I started thinking about the books I read in middle school, I read legitimate books of absolute frivolity. I mean, I suppose I was reading literature in my classes that I resented and pouted over on the sheer fact it was indeed homework and this might be why I had turned to such ridiculous reads.

Well, twelve year olds are ridiculous anyways, but still -- I should have known better, you know? Shouldn't I have been reading classics like Jane Austen, J.R.R. Tolkien and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle like proper young intellectuals? If I was doing it in class, it didn't stick until I was older.

You know what stuck? James Howe's The Watcher (respectable; I learned about multiple perspective narrating), David and Leigh Eddings'The Redemption of Althalus (still pretty respectable), Lynne Ewing's Daughters of the Moon series, (Um...) and -- Francine Pascal's Fearless series.


I take pause to Fearless because when I went to go reminisce about this series I was utterly infatuated with, the Wikipedia article was alarmingly extensive. I was made fun of because my more intellectual peers at Renbrook teased me for reading such smut since the first two or three books focused on the raging hormones of teenagers. However, if smart, mature readers can get past those volumes, (I breezed through them, naturally) the story gets outrageously complicated and heavy. It was as if Francine was getting her kicks out of the way writing about silly high school relationships then BAM, the CIA, Russian spies and murders of regular characters are plot pillars. What people should have been making fun of me for was how ludicrous the whole concept was.

Here is the LONG biography provided from the in-depth Wiki article on Fearless about it's main character, Gaia Moore:

Initially Gaia is lonely and bitter, and feels ostracized from her fellow classmates (whom she considers inferior and intellectually lacking) and frequently skips school to play chess at the park or to walk around the city sightseeing. She is extremely educated and has a post graduate college level understanding on all her school subjects. At night she wanders around dangerous areas of the city and spends her time fighting criminals and helping people from robbers, murderers, rapists, etc. using her amazing martial arts skills.

After she uses her skills, or overtly exerts herself in any way, she experiences a blackout episode where she becomes unconscious for a short period of time. This is due to the enormous amount of stress that she puts on her body from using her unmatched physical skills. In order to compensate for her lack of fear, nature seems to have given Gaia's physical strength, reflexes, and stamina an enormous boost. Her lack of fear also means she has no restrictions placed on her muscles or on her endurance; she can tighten her muscles so much that her bones will break or easily lift up a car with her strength. As well as being in top physical condition, she has been trained for eight years in a variety of martial arts by her father who is part of the CIA. Gaia's favorite foods and meals consist of sugary sweets and junk food with many calories.

As the series progresses Gaia learns much about her past and develops emotionally to be much more open to people. At the beginning of the series her tragic past has left her scarred and vulnerable to the point that she has completely isolated herself from others. Throughout the series Gaia has a very negative and bitter personality, is constantly in a bad mood and can get angry very easily. She has experienced many hardships and is prone to have this negative and brutish personality and outlook because she is incapable of feeling fear and therefore has no sense of respect for others to make her act humble or well mannered. She also has low self esteem and is constantly unsatisfied with how she looks and is overtly critical of herself. She is said to have a toned and well muscled body, has light blond hair, and deep blue eyes,is around 5'10" and is considered exceptionally beautiful by everyone who sees her.

I hope you don't actually take the time to read it all, just skim it. But honestly: I feel like the high expectations I have for myself may extend a little from this...?

Also, could you take a moment to compare the fictional girl I loved reading about compared to, say, Bella Swan? Yes, both of them are attractive to every guy they meet (hey, what sells, sells) but does Bella hustle chess matches in her free time? Nope.

Anyway, I'm a better reader now, reading things like The Remains of the Day and Anil's Ghost, but we all have our favorite guilty pleasures.


  1. Long time reader, first time commenter, love the blog! I bet Noah's really hot, but still awesome. You should get him to blog too.

  2. I'm glad someone finally said it.

  3. Like, oh my gosh, I thought I was the only one thinking it, but then like I see that you guys see it too. Mmmmmm Noah ;)