Friday, July 1, 2011

A Million Miles From Normal

A Million Miles From Normal is essentially chicklit – a book for women, so why would I choose to read it as a man?  That is because this world is fast becoming one of gender bending where men wear guy-liner and women drive trucks.  That is not to say that the majority of the world does not live in clear lines in terms of sex being an identifier in terms of our mannerisms or outward appearance.  Getting back to the point, I date men and so does ‘Rachel’ – ergo I figured I would relate to the book.  And she is also out on a mission to meet that man, she is not just sitting around waiting for him, she gets quite active about finding herself a lover and I enjoy that sort of pro active attitude in finding love.

Love this book number one: Rachel is looking for love.

The story rolls really nicely from paige to paige with a little status update thrown in there every once in a while bringing the world of social media into this fictional world.  Something I really enjoyed were these little status updates, and it had my brain racing on themes of fact and fiction when it comes to our social networks, themes of being connected yet so far away from each other, juxtaposing who we are and how we feel with who others see us as and how they perceive us to be.  And what do I mean by this long winded sentence here, basically the shame and embarrassment Rachel feels is actually not a cool feeling therefore posting it as a status update made that ‘shame’ funny for the reader (‘reader’ being a friend on facebook in the fictional world of Rachel).  So who we are and how we feel is largely skewed when it comes to how it is understood due to the competition in emotion between social networking versus real life?

Love this book number two: it gets me thinking.

Rachel is also a woman that is really just running away from her problems instead of owning them.  Her chase for love and work is a nice little cover up for the fact that she feels like a turtle without a shell and all she wants to do is hide her head.  How many of us have taken a job or ventured into a business prospect that did not work out and left us feeling like a failure?  Failure leaves the soul emaciated.  And that shame can often send us off on a round about across the world in an attempt to cover up that said shame.  But no matter how much running we do the truth is always running just behind us with a batten of embarrassment ready to pass it back to us and eventually we all just have to slow down and take the damn thing.

Love this book number three: she struggles to take the shame.

Two male characters really pop out to me and to Rachel but from the beginning I was into the mess.  The guy that is the mess.  The description of the man is so repulsive in terms of his self-loathing and lack of ambition and I was totally hooked.  There is just something about someone who is too smooth that irks me to such a point that I really just want to smack him but the man who clearly does not have it all together, well now there is a man that can impress and surprise more than the man that impresses and surprises from the get go.  So I was into the mess and he grew on me the more I read about him plus he made me laugh with his lack of control in a disastrous presentation that brought Rachel to her knees.

Love this book number Four:  I had a little book-crush on her art director.

There you have it, Four Reasons to keep your eye out for “A Million Miles From Normal” by Paige Nick… check out her blog too

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