Thursday, 14 November 2013

An Appetite for Good Reading

A little while back (okay, I'm lying, a way while back) I was asked to review Casey B Dolan's book "An Appetite for Peas". After getting over the initial excitement of being asked to review a book in my professional capacity as a blogger (yeeeeeeeeeee-haaaaaaaaa) and getting over my suitable envy of Casey on the cover of the book, I settled down and begun to read.

The introduction to the book is superb, having no idea that it was Casey writing about herself, I was convinced that it was from a male perspective the entire time. When I got to the very last sentence I was really impressed with how brave those first two pages were. I was hooked.

Many may ask what the point is of writing an autobiography, I for one have never met Casey, nor had I even really heard of her - in the 90s I was a preteen {girl} fixated more with punk music than FHM schmodels. So yes, even to me it was surprising that she would have a book about her life and fame of which I knew nothing of.

Perhaps that is one of the reasons why I found the book so enjoyable in the first place, not knowing anything more than that sometime ago she was something to do with FHM something something dark side. Staying away from using real names, she describes the different faces she came to meet in her life in a similar fashion to a way a young girl would. I believe one of the purposes of her writing this book is for young girls to read, young girls with a certain kind of hunger for more, and a warning label for it. I may be the only example relating, but I'm quite certain I'm not. The first love, the older guy with his fancy (read: as-seen-through-the-rosey-glasses-of-a-teenage-girl) car and bad boy charm that every teenage girl has fancied. And that same bad boy loser that only wants one thing and one thing only from you as a young girl. Yeah that. See, I knew I wasn't the only one. And Casey certainly doesn't shirk about how this experience was for her, and it's something that needs to be admired about this book.

And then there's the experience we've all had as young women. You know, the one where you're not really all that much older but you think you are.. the time when you think you've got more experience than you've actually earned, the confidence in making the right decision. And it's all because of a boy. And I use boy because no matter how old the man-boy actually may be, he's really just a stoopid boy. Speaking of which, as long as you remember that, you will know everything - thank you Coco Chanel.

So yes, when Casey broaches the topic of the ordeal she went through at {insert popular radio station name here} you relate on the level that is universal amongst women. He's that guy you want to save, change, love and protect because you're so much older than you actually are. He's just misunderstood and if I love him long enough, he will also love me in return. Yes every woman has been there. I remember my version of this story and going through it simultaneously with my room mate at the time. Every time I decided to end it, it was all too easy to go back if he showed even the smallest amount of human emotion -- how you can find emotion in a text message, you just ask any 20 year old girl. And I remember how much we used to encourage each other to not give up. Silly girls. If only we could be spared that torment by knowing from the first time that things fall apart that he will only love you when it's too late for you to still love him.

Of course, it never happens this way. Ever. There'll always be that emotionally unavailable asshole that steals your heart and toys with it till it breaks into a million pieces along with your self esteem and slim figure. Yes, the jerk who makes you feel utterly useless and disposable. He doesn't deserve you but you just keep going back, convinced that this time, with that small part of affection he showed you to lure you in again, it will be different. You convince yourself that there is a happy ending to this story. Until that girl that convinced you to wait for him begins sleeping with him herself. Okay so perhaps my story's a bit different from Casey's with "So-So" (I approve so much of this apt name for his character) but the universal line is there.
And imagine the victorious feeling of reading about getting that kind of closure that she so desperately searched for.

Whilst a lot of people may pose the question of why would Casey choose to write a book about her life, my question would be when is the earliest age that you could give this book to a young girl to read? Okay so I'm sure the horrible heartaches I went through as a younger tart may or may not have molded some parts of who I am -- after all there is no way that I would allow any boy-man to treat me that way again -- but I cant help but think it would have been nice to have someone else's perspective to save me a little time. Hurt is good to learn from but time you cannot get back.


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