Cop out! This never happens!
Abruptly, the main character - Hope - is in an airport, has lots of luggage and a dog that won't shut the
hell up. Hope tells us her parents are going to Thailand to build a school, while they dump her off in New York City with
her cocaine-addicted sister Joy. Hope is also only seventeen, and this is mentioned about three times. Mac, are you reminding
They try to give Hope an umbrella, and the conversation turns into an awkward sequence of shaking their
heads upon hearing Joy and her boyfriend's name. Then her father checks his watch, and the rest of the page goes on about
what an idiot he is with electronics, including when he knocked $14,000 of solar panels off the roof, and before anyone can
be mad about it, he falls off too and breaks his leg in three places. Then, the whole next page explains what
Hope's parents are wearing, and how they kiss. What is going on here?
They have a hippie prayer circle right in the airport, wishing Hope well. The dog won't shut up. Casual
references to Hope's father having a drinking problem are tossed in. And then the rest of the chapter is about how much Hope's
hippie parents love each other, how hippie-tastic they all are, and some more about her father's drinking problem.
Not only are we getting a lot of exposition we don't really need - like, who cares if her father is a drunk
since this is the only time he appears in person - but it keeps going on and on about how awesome this heterosexual couple
is...in a book about gays. Is it rather supposed to be about love? I don't know, since this chapter made me hate hippies so
much, Bob Dylan is impressed.
Now Hope is stuck on a flight with two really loud babies, and apparently you shouldn't sit for long periods
of time or you'll get blood clots and die. Thanks, Hope.
Hope goes to the lady with the babies - Maira - and offers to help take care of them. The babies fall
asleep after she does this, and then the pilot comes onto the intercom and speaks loudly, waking the babies up. What was the
point of this sequence? Either way, Hope is given the babies and cradles them up and down the plane aisle, and because of
her magic Mary Sue powers, they go to sleep. Hope relays to Maira the story of her parents' Thailand trip and wedding anniversary,
and apparently it is so beautiful Maira cries in joy. Hope proceeds to wonder about Maira's husband so many times,
it murders foreshadowing and his whole family.
Maira is a pretty nice lady, and it turns out she lives ten blocks away from Joy's place. She arranges for
Hope to come by and babysit, and suddenly they realize Hope's stupid dog has been drugged by someone, maybe because it was
loud and stupid. Upon getting into the airport, Hope is freaking out about finding a vet, and Joy tells her to shut up.
Apparently she sold the car her father bought her and is radiating with vibes of superbitch. In an abrupt
paragraph, we learn the vet looked like Dr. Light and he saved the dog, but now Hope needs to work off the money. Couldn't
it just be added in that Hope wants to get a job in New York? Do we really need an escapade about a sick dog?
Calm down, Fauna. Try to channel Ryoji Kaji here...keep your cool. It's just a book. It's a book that plays
out like it was written by a twelve year old, but actually got published and made money...keep it together
Bruce, Joy's hungover and depressed boyfriend, tries to make breakfast but that goes to hell. Joy screams
at him for two pages. Hope goes to the park and describes how nice it is for a whole page. Then, we find out in a flashback
that Hope was supposed to stay at their hippie den for the summer, until she went and had sex with a 24-year-old hippie
worker who turned out to be married, and it's mentioned offhand that Hope has had intercourse twice before since she was fifteen.
Wow. This book just got really nasty. I didn't notice this bit the first time I read it.
In order to keep their youngest daughter from being a further screw-up, they send her to the full-blown
screw-up two thousand miles away. That's just rich.
Hope finds a stupider lost dog named Clocker in the park, and calls the owner to leave her number,
and we learn the owner is someone named Nat who says stupid things like "Rock on,
crouton." Hope returns home with Clocker, only to have it knock over a glass vase in Joy's living room. Joy flips into
a new dimension of bitch and runs off to go have lunch with someone named Cecily. Hope notices how Bruce is a sad sack of
crap, and offers to take him for ice cream. Just...poor Bruce.
Since the apartment has no rooted phone, Hope goes out and calls Clocker's owner with the address to
Joy's apartment, and an hour later, his owner shows up. She's Nat, the tough rollerskater with blonde dreadlocks, and she
keeps reminding me of Boomer from the BK Kids Club
. She takes a moment to admire the scenery of Joy's hipster apartment, which evolves into a "joke" that I find so rude and
offhand I need to reprint it...
"Let me guess. Late twenties, wishes she was living in
Manhattan. Probably a little..." She puts a finger to her nose and sniffs.
"Can spot 'em a mile away."
AHAHAHA, YOU'RE SO FUNNY, CARRIE MAC! I sure love
it when people make awkward jokes about one of
the scariest drugs ever created! Let's pretend it didn't have 1980's America so hopped on it or so terrified
of it that everyone was on the verge of hysteria, and that it didn't prematurely kill my favourite actor of all time
Then, Nat shakes Hope's hand, but won't let go for a moment and gazes at her oddly before leaving. Seriously
though, screw you, Carrie Mac. I need to take a break now, or I'm going to spend the rest of the night sobbing while
cradling a DVD of The Blues Brothers.
Suddenly it's six days later, between doing chores for Joy because of the broken vase (since this is apparently
Ouran School Host Club now) and working at the veterinarian's place, she is called over to Maira's house to be a
nanny for some weeks. Maira is a publishing company editor, and Hope gets excited because she'll meet "the guy she'd been so upset about on the plane" DUN DUN DUNNNNNN.
When Hope gets there, she find Maira's house to be insanely fancy, with a big garden and a pretty exterior.
What the hell part of New York has high-end houses ten blocks away from dirtbag hipster apartments?
Maira is making lamb chops for dinner, and Hope is suddenly a vegetarian but doesn't say anything. Maira's
"partner", Larissa, comes down and picks up their twin sons. Anyway, the women are married and they kiss in front of Hope,
and Hope's brain detonates.
'Lesbians. Okay. Not a big deal. There were a couple of
dykes who lived at the farm for a while.'
This is the first time Mac decides to use an entirely inappropriate word in an otherwise normal scene. Kids,
the word "dyke" is on the same offensive level as "faggot". Plug in "faggots" into the above sentence; does it sound nice?
It sure as hell doesn't, and Mac throws in the word "queer" to describe the occasional commune worker. Hope says in her
head that she "has no problem with diversity", but feels confused and queasy the whole time. That's like saying "I'm not homophobic
or anything, but these fags are creeping me out."
Then she's confused over whether or not Maira and Larissa "look" like lesbians, because she's never seen
any before, and the ones at the farm "just looked like each other: miserable, each
with a long, dirty braid and a big butt." What are you implying, Mac?
Wait, what? Now they're letting her drink wine! Hope is seventeen, and they're letting her drink because
she's had hippie wine before. Okay...so, she mentions her living conditions with Joy, and Maira and Larissa offer to let Hope
stay with them, and instead of giving them an overjoyed yes, she says no, then mentions she can't eat meat long after dinner
has begun. Larissa notes Hope is getting awkward as hell, and asks "Is it because we're queer?" Hope starts crying and says
it's because she's homesick, then keeps crying because her parents actually come to mind.
The lesbians persuade Hope to stay in one of the guest rooms, and on the way back from getting her stuff
from Joy's apartment, they run into Nat, and Hope gets really nervous. Larissa later mentions Nat is a common fixture throughout
Brooklyn, and Hope somehow comes to the conclusion that she has a crush on Nat.
First off...it's been six days since the first time and only time you even saw her, and being nervous
around someone is hardly evidence of infatuation. Secondly, Maira and Larissa are ten times more likeable than Hope.
A gay duo of editor and lawyer, with twin sons and a huge house, and warm, admirable personalities? They give me a comforting
feeling, and they remind me of Sailors Neptune and Uranus respectively. They need their own book...but it can't be written
by Carrie Mac.
Four days later Hope is working in three different places, and the lesbians offer to take her to the beach
because they're cool, but Hope turns it down so she can have a day to herself. Then the veterinarian hands a phone off
to her, featuring a screaming Joy.
Joy claims Hope never left a note explaining she was going to live with awesome lesbians, but the note's
over there damn you, and Joy claims she told their parents Hope ran away and now they're coming home.
Hope explodes, and it turns out Joy was "kidding". Hope goes to the park with her dog, loses it, and hyperventilates
until Nat shows up with their dogs. Nat speaks Spanish, and Hope offhandedly thinks of her muscles as "yummy". It
goes on... "Nat drags a finger along her muddy calf and I just about swoon. This
is nuts. Completely nuts! Since when did I become queer?"
You slept with three dudes, right? You liked them all at some point, right? Then you're bisexual,
you stupid kid. Stop abusing the word "queer". Real gay people don't call themselves that all the time.
They walk to Maira's house to hose the mud off the dogs, while Nat points out the landmarks of Brooklyn.
Hope's dog hides under the porch, so the girls crawl in and try to fish her out. Nat is clearly coming onto Hope, but goes
home to shower. Apparently she's "as dykey as it gets", and victoriously
bikes away. Hope wonders if she could kiss a girl, while using the word "queer" three times in a paragraph.
Man, if you took this, flipped the genders and replaced all the names with Kingdom Hearts characters,
and then put this on Fanfiction.net, people would tear it apart while declaring it the worst, most clichéd thing they'd ever
Hope camps out in her room for the rest of the evening, contemplating if she could handle being a lesbian
without imploding. Eventually she concludes that she should have kissed Nat under the porch. She attempts to sleep, but instead
goes downstairs and dances around. She then helps Larissa figure out the new coffee maker, because Carrie Mac's ideal
couple involves one of the people involved being a complete dumbass with technology.
And, the reason Maira was so emotional about Hope's parents on the plane was because her parents were breaking
up after forty-two years, and it was close to her twelth anniversary with Larissa. Maira has a heated debate on the phone
and manages to get yogurt and hug Larissa without stopping. These are some badass lesbians.
Hope finally winds up admitting to Larissa that Nat came onto her, and the fact that her brain is having
diarrhea about it, which brings this honest advice from Larissa:
"Someone coming on to you doesn't make you gay," Larissa
laughs. "It's how you react that matters."
Then Hope brings up that she wanted to kiss her, and starts crying, blaming this change of sexuality on
her "lesbian environs". All right, gay people being around you doesn't make
you gay. Secondly, all throughout this book, Hope has clearly expressed attraction to males, and she would be bisexual.
This book is like something a writer would make for her gay daughter in an attempt to show she "understands" her. It's so
offensively vile that I could pass out.
Hope goes out for a walk, then goes home, and goes back out for a walk with Maira's kids. As she wonders
whether or not she wants Nat to reappear, she contemplates asking Bruce if he has any young male friends. Aside from my "SEE,
SEE, YOU'RE BISEXUAL" rant, what the hell happened to Bruce? We see him in the first few chapters as a sad beaten dog, and
then Hope was supposed to take him out, and then he disappears.
While she considers she may be "some kind of unoriginal queer
wannabe", she sees Nat and begins to panic, assuming "This is no phase.
This is real." Some girl with blue hair shows up, Nat hugs her, and Hope gets jealous. The blue haired girl leaves,
and Nat and Hope try to talk, but Hope is awkward, calling herself a "social retard" in her head. Nat goes to take her for
ice cream, and it turns out she owns a bike repair shop, which her super-Christian parents bought her to keep her away from
At the ice cream store, it becomes painfully obvious that Hope is interested in Nat, and this ends with
them kissing, and Nat taking the time to cop a feel on Hope's ass. The Spanish boys working at the ice cream shop are so excited
they forget how to speak english:
"C'mon. Why you get more action than us, huh?" Julio hollers.
"What you got I don't?"
After the word "lesbo" is chucked in for measure, the chapter ends, with everyone going OH HEY HOPE YOU'RE
GAY GAY GAY DESPITE SLEEPING WITH DUDES BEFORE :D.
I begin to lose a little respect for Maira and Larissa, as they are informed by their supposed Ultra Homo
Communication Network before they get home from work that Hope is kissing girls...
" [...] And pretty soon all the dykes in Brooklyn will
know how we corrupted some poor young slip from out west. Isn't that right?"
AHAHAHAHA! IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE APPARENTLY HOMOSEXUALITY IS A DISEASE!
I wouldn't complain about the use of "dyke" here because they're supposed to be joking around,
but Larissa is actually saying this to one of her infant sons in this scene. Overjoyed that they have indoctrinated
another person into Gaytopia, the family watches a movie, and then Nat calls to invite hope to Coney Island the next day.
There was also three pages of Hope describing how weird everything is in the most lackluster way possible.
"I ignore the carrots. This is all so weird, and cutting
carrots is so normal, and somehow the two do not go together."
The only real way I could express my opinion about this book right now is if I were to go back into
the library, open the book up to the middle, vomit in it, and put it back on the shelf.
By the time I reached the last chapter, I started to wonder if I had been overreacting in my response to
the book. I went to reach for the book, and started to feel like I had a spike through my head
. So, yeah...if a book makes me feel dread and actual bodily pain, it's bad.
The girls go to Coney Island while constantly holding hands, which freaks out a Chasidic
woman. Then they have a beach trip for two pages and go to the boardwalk Freak Show. How romantic!
They then go back to Joy's apartment because her parents are going to call, and neither adult is there for
plot convenience. In a flashback, Hope told Joy about Nat, and apparently Joy experimented in college and has no problem with
the gaytastic situation at hand. Well, at least that out of the way, and we know she's not dead. She leaves them money to
Carrie Mac uses the term "spooned out" to describe lying in a chair, which technically isn't even a term.
Then, Hope's parents call, she tells them about Nat, and they're cool with her. Then Hope's father asks of this from Nat:
"Our Hope is more precious to us than anything, and she
deserves to be loved by a brilliant, true heart and nothing less. Understand?"
What the hell? The girls have only been in contact with each other for four non-sequential days! Is this
like the end of Ponyo, where two small children go through the "Love Test" before they get bonded together forever? It's nice
that your glommy hippie parents care, but they sure phrase things creepily.
And now the book is done.