Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Orpheus Obsession


I try to get everyone that I know to read Johnny Vodoo, by Dakota Lane. It was one of the books that I read while I was a YA librarian in a public library, and it totally captured me. The essence of Louisiana, as well as Johnny himself just drew me in quickly and kept me there the whole time. Imagine my surprise when my fellow librarian Karyn told me that Lane's newest book had just been nominated for BBYA.

Jen and Karyn just got the book in, and I had the pleasure of reading it over the past couple of days.

I wasn't quite sure what to think at first. I kept Johnny Voodoo too close to my mind and this is a very different book. I couldn't help thinking of Francesca Lia Block when I started to read about Anooshka and her sister Moon. The story starts with a very trippy sojourn to Brighton Beach culminating in a chance meeting with rock star Orpheus while he is on a photo shoot. Originally Moon had introduced Anooshka to his music, and Anooshka ends up struck by Orpheus in a way that develops into the type of obsession that only teen girls can cultivate.

We watch Anooshka fall for, follow, and enter Orpheus' world. Is she the angel that he tells her she is, or simply another delusional, teen fan that would make for an easy lay?

The language is poetic, and true to form, Lane's descriptions are lush and leave the reader with a real sensory feeling of being there. I feel like I have a real picture of Moon and of Anooshkas's friends, as well as the East Villiage through Anooshka's eyes. It's just Anooshka herself that remains partly mysterious to me.

2 comments:

Dakota Lane said...

stasia--THANK YOU for liking JV so much and also for staying with orpheus even if it was a bit sketchy...stasia was the alternate name i had for anooshka!
i have a contract for 4 books with ginee seo at simon and am really excited to be working with her (fyi) but would like to get orpheus into the libraries...any ideas welcome!!!

Stacy (my friends call me Stasia) Dillon said...

Hey Dakota:

I think getting nominated on bbya is your first step to getting into libraries. Lots of librarians I know sell those books to the kids big time...especially if they are on committee. In the NYC realm get in touch with the book fest and ny is book country folks. Those at nypl have quite a bit of influence on the industry.
There has been LOTS of talk about YA this summer in the press...