Thursday, February 22, 2018

Ms. Hen reviews GET IN TROUBLE

Get in Trouble
Kelly Link
Random House

Ms. Hen decided to read this because she was determined to read something she would like, a book she would not have to throw across the room in disgust. Also, because it is similar to THE PARTICULAR SADNESS OF LEMON CAKE, which she just read and enjoyed. Ms. Hen read a couple of books by the author of GET IN TROUBLE, Kelly Link, many years ago.

This book is similar to the others that Ms. Hen read by the same author. The collection is full of magical, whimsical stories based on fairy tales, but dwell in the real world. Certain threads run through the book, such as superheroes and young people having a good time.

Ms. Hen particularly liked the first story, “The Summer People.” It is about a young woman who is in charge of her father’s summer homes where it turns out unseen people live. Her friend comes with her to see the house, and her friend learns what the house is, and why it’s so full of odds and ends. This story is about home and not knowing what’s real and not real.

Ms. Hen found the story, “The New Boyfriend,” endearingly haunting. It’s about four girls who are best friends, and one is having a slumber party for her birthday. She gets a new “boyfriend,” a type of robot doll, called the Ghost Boyfriend, who is supposed to scare the owner. Her friend gets jealous, because she doesn’t have any Boyfriends, even though she did have a boyfriend in real life at one time. Ms. Hen liked this because it’s about jealously and the absurd lengths teenage girls will attempt to get back at their friends.

Ms. Hen could not quite understand one of the stories, “Valley of the Girls.” It’s about young people, but they’re building pyramids, and it’s about ancient Egypt, but it’s about a young man who sleeps with lots of women. Ms. Hen didn’t understand what exactly is happening in this story. It didn’t seem to make any sense to her. Ms. Hen is quite capable of understanding the strange things she reads, but this story was too weird for her liking. None of the other stories come as close to being as indecipherable as this one. The story “Two Houses” is a little odd at first, but after a few pages Ms. Hen got it. Ms. Hen doesn’t like to be lost and not to be able to grasp what is going on when she reads. She thinks that not all writers are great all the time, even though they may be great at some times.

Ms. Hen thinks some of the stories in this collection are too bizarre, but it is mostly worth reading. Each story brought her to a different place, to help her figure out what is unique about the world where it is set. Reading a collection like this is like diving into different mindsets, which Ms. Hen can enjoy if she knows what on earth she is reading. Ms. Hen considers herself smart and strange, but she thinks there is a world of strangeness and absurdity that may be beyond her. She tries to be as strange as she can, though most of the time she hides it. J

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