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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

Against the Paw
Diane Kelly
Progress: 194/352 pages
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World
Abigail Revasch, Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Tara Sands, Listening Library
Progress: 67/473 minutes
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 448/553 pages
The Naked Sun
Isaac Asimov
Progress: 20/187 pages
Fluency
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages
Lulu Dark and the Summer of the Fox - Bennett Madison It's the beginning of summer and all Lulu wants to do is have perfectly ordinary, non-crime-solving fun with her best friend Daisy, with her only problem being what to do about her friend-turned-boyfriend, Charlie, who has become less fun and more clingy since they started dating. No such luck for Lulu. Her mother, a flaky actress named Isabelle, drops into Halo City unannounced in order to shoot a movie. Isabelle hasn't been the best mother (Lulu's father and his partner are much more reliable), but Lulu is still cautiously optimistic that her mother might actually keep her promise and meet with her for pastries. Unfortunately, Lulu's mother disappears, and Lulu finds herself investigating a mysterious person known as the Fox. The Fox has been causing problems for a gorgeous young actress named Lisa Lincoln (who, by the way, seems to have her eye on Lulu's boyfriend - and he's not doing a lot to discourage her). Is the Fox connected to Isabelle's disappearance? Is Isabelle the Fox, making a statement about the show biz industry's treatment of older female actresses?Lulu seemed to me like the super-trendy, somewhat fluffy type, not the sort of character I really identify with. Her boyfriend Charlie is mega-rich, Lulu's family is at least comfortably well off, and I think the same goes for Daisy (who, by the way, can kick butt like someone from a martial arts movie). I wasn't sure how I'd like the book, but it turned out to be an okay read.Although Lulu has apparently had crime-solving success in the past, investigating doesn't seem to be something she knows too much about. She does seem to excel at going places she shouldn't, which is how she manages to find various clues, and she's got that attitude that so many confident, trendy characters seem to have that convinces others (a police officer, a celebrity gossip columnist, and a bunch of bus riders) to help her out. Luck is also a factor, plus her determination to find her mother and, eventually, Charlie and Lisa when they are kidnapped by the Fox.Lulu's relationship with Charlie was interesting. For the most part, Madison doesn't often write scenes with Charlie and Lulu together, since Lulu spends a good portion of the book avoiding Charlie. She doesn't like his clingy-ness (he always wants to know where she is and what she's doing) and the way he seems to have stopped having his own opinions since they started dating. However, that doesn't mean she's happy when she sees Lisa on TV, hanging on Charlie's arm. I was amazed and a little impressed that Madison didn't decide to just neatly fix Charlie and Lulu's relationship by the end of the book. The state of their relationship by the end of the book may upset those who've read the first book, and unfortunately there isn't a third book (yet?) that either matches Lulu up with someone else or begins to mend things with Charlie. For a reader like me who began with this, the second book, however, it wasn't too upsetting. This book just didn't tell me enough about Charlie for me to really feel anything when Lulu and Charlie had their final relationship heart-to-heart.Lulu's father was a bit of a surprise to me. I believe he's labeled gay in the book, but I think it might actually be more accurate to call him bisexual, since he still seems to have some very fond memories of his times with Lulu's mother and others. He, his partner, and Lulu live together, and it seems to be a nice, happy, and stable family relationship, which is great, since it doesn't seem like Isabelle could handle the practical aspects of parenting. Of course, Lulu's father's partner, Theo, flakes out, too, when it's convenient for the plot - otherwise, Lulu would never have been able to get out of the house to save everyone.The aging actresses aspect was interesting to me, too. I mean, it's got to be frustrating that so many female actresses just can't get certain parts anymore once they hit a certain age. Back when I used to watch soap operas, it always struck me as a little unfair that some of the male actors were still getting romantic/sexy/whatever scenes even as their hair grayed and they developed wrinkles, while a lot of the female actresses didn't (or they were just flat out replaced).(Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)