Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Book Review: Eyeleash by Jess C. Scott and Interview

Title: Eyeleash

Author: Jess C. Scott

Pages (on .pdf copy): 260

Summary (from eyeleash.wordpress.com):

Jade Ashton is a sassy virgin. In her private blog, she vents about “fitting in” a world where superficiality reigns supreme.

Suddenly all logic flies out the window when she meets Novan: the former geek, who’s morphed into a delicious songwriter-musician.

They decide to be “friends-with-benefits”. But it’s Novan, with his poems and riddling passages on his own blog — which *isn’t private* — that backs out.

EyeLeash captures self-discovery in the 2000s, and showcases the colorful, intricate drama in two youths’ relentless search for themselves — and what’s really in their hearts.

I'm going to be honest. When I first heard of a "blog fiction" novel, I immediatley thought it would be another IM fluffy rom-com, like TTYL by Lauren Myracle. But, once I read the description, I was intrigued.

Jade is a virgin--much to her dismay--pining over the idea of love while still holding her 'indepednent women' ideals. She makes no secret of her self-satisfactory practices (then again, it is her private blog) and the conversations she and her friends have about sex. She's worried about her seemingly endless virginal future, listeninng with both curiousity and envy to her friend's account of their recent *ahem* activity.

But then, an old middle school fling (Noven) sends her an IM:

[novan]: hey hey
¤Jade¤: helloo
¤Jade¤: haven’t seen u online in a while =)
[novan]: oh yea
[novan]: i’ve been busy with a friend’s band, lol
[novan]: so how u doin
¤Jade¤: i’m good. how abt u?
¤Jade¤: and wow cool ur in a band??
[novan]: been listening to the same song for hours... trying to
get the tabs right
[novan]: yea!... we’re ‘the blah blah blahs’ (super creatively
thought of by myself)

And this is the cataylist that sets the rest of the plot in motion; he invites her to catch his band playing. She goes, only to find the geeky fourteen year old she remembers has transformed into a...well, he's hot. And she wants him. Bad.

After some mutual flirtation (and several nude pictures) they agree to be "friends with benefits"

They book a room at a 5-star hotel. Unexpectedly, Novan backs out at the last moment. Though he wants to explain his decision, he backs off due to Jade’s subsequent hostility.

At loveXpress.com [a fictitious site parallel to www.secondlife.com], Jade starts to chat with another guy—Hawke, a fitness trainer. His online avatar’s name is “Tyler Weed”.

Jade shifts her attention from Novan to Hawke. Still, she struggles to define her own feminine identity in today’s sex-saturated culture. (from Eyeleash synopsis)

I think the spotlight on Eyeleash should be on Ms. Scott for her representation of todays high-tech world, capturing perfectly the John Hughes-like angst every teenager goes through like any real teenager would--through the internet. Jade has a voice all her own, not like the drabble most teenage girls usually put in their blog; again, this is private, for her eyes only. She's stripped away her filter, giving an uncensored account of her journey to losing the ever-loving virginity.

I love this especially because, let's face it, we've all rambled on about our love-lives on some blog or another, we've all been in these kinds of situations before, we've all been in Jade or Novan's shoes. It's so easy to relate ot Jade's narrative. Personally, I've grown up in the technology era--I learned to type when I was seven--and this so truthfully protrays how love is these days. I've had entire relationships based around hour long chats and emails. If it sounds like I'm saying the same thing over and over, that's because it's all I can think about: how alike Jade is to me and so many of my friends. This really is a book for any teenager living in Cyber-America.

My only gripe? Even I, who will probably forget how to communicate audibley with my fellow human being by the year 2012, didn't understand some of the lingo and abbreviations. While it doesn't completely draw away from the story, it is a bit distracting and messes up the flow of the narrative. Again, not a complete deal-breaker, but still. I like to read books without having to go on the Urban Dictionary.

Overall, Eyeleash is a heartfelt, honest read that every teen can relate too--though, due to the content, I would probably only suggest it for 14 and up XD

And stick around later for...


About the Author (from her site):

Hello, I’m Jess. I’m primarily a writer/novelist/poet.

I lived in Singapore for the first two decades of my life. Currently I’m in Maine, USA. Permanent location would be “in my head”.

I don’t like labels but the MBTI is fascinating; according to that, I’m an INFJ.

I’m working on my fourth book (as of May 2009). In June 2009, I decided to publish my first book myself (some stats on its history here), after realizing that my work isn’t “commercially categorizable” enough, for the current publishing industry’s standards.

Also: Here's a book trailer Ms. Scott created (pictures and all) for Eyeleash

And: I thought this was cute, a song/poem Novan posted on his blog about Jade;

pink & sweet
what a treat
if we were in high school
i’d go ‘what the hell’
and we’d be both expelled
at your mercy
when you show off like that
don't you think that hint of pink
slipping out's
you're cosmic rocks glass
too hot to handle
too cold to touch
yea, i wanna impress
yea, this boy’s a mess
all i gotta say is…
you look fabulous.

If you like this: you might like Just Listen by Sarah Desson. Both are about two girls having issues in their love life (albeit, completely different problems) who fall for a guy in a band. Don't know why, but I thought of it as I was reading Eyeleash. Another one you might like, also music oriented, is Mosh Pit by Katilyn Dunnion, reviewed here. It's also a very raw coming of age tale, though a bit more graphic then Eyeleash.

Rating: 8 out of 10---an excellent, original novel that I suggest to anyone, whether their tech-savvy or not.


Mandy said...

Excellent feature! Where can I get this book?

Dannie said...

You can order it on Amazon or at Jess's site, linked above.


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