some things i loved about INAMORATA, by megan chance
(which i was so hardcore delighted with that i sat down at a small italian café after an Extremely Trying Day and read until the sun went down, and the café was far more air conditioned than necessary and had the door open and i was wearing short sleeves despite the fact that it is nearly october and i had gotten an iced booze coffee and the point is, for the last hundred or so pages on my ereader, i was CONVULSIVELY SHIVERING, BUT I REFUSED TO LEAVE BECAUSE I WAS SO ENGROSSED. read this book like me: at a tiny adorable italian café drinking coffee and eating fancy cake. do not read this book like me: don’t HURT yourself about it.)
- the setting: 19th-c. venice, decaying, gorgeous, lavishly described proxy grand tour. i’d never read megan chance before. she’s gooooooooooooooood. there is a lot of detail but it is super fast paced nevertheless! it all feels luxurious but not slow.
- a succubus (odilé), her scorned ex-lover the garbage poet (nicholas), and a pair of gorgeous charismatic artist-and-muse social climber/grifter twins (joseph and sophie) with a flowers in the attic upbringing* walk into a bar. i love everyone in this bar.
- (*before i go further, to be fair, tw: sexual assault/childhood sexual abuse in character backstory. i thought the book was careful with it and sensitive. mainly, i couldn’t stop thinking of this warsan shire poem, which has always been…viscerally affecting to me. but that aspect is v much ‘how the characters go forward from that in a book about sex’ it’s a shaper force but they are survivors they have survived.)
- everyone’s amazing, so it stands to reason that all possible ships are amazing. serpentine artist-muse power twins entrancing/discomfiting everyone around them? fingerbite amazing. nicholas and odilé sniping at each other about how they’re going to destroy each other? handclap amazing. sophie and nicholas discovering that they’re allowed to have nice things together? amazing! odilé seducing joseph? sexually amazing—but also sophie sitting in the background sniping and ruining the mood, TRULY amazing.
- i love everyone in this bar, pt 1: odilé. because i love nonmalicious-yet-nonapologetic lady monsters, and odilé is that: a literal lamia just tryna make a living and sort of tired of bad art. self-justifying, knows her justifications are bs, shrugs out of survival. values her personhood, tries to hold the monster at arm’s length because she’s scared of being engulfed but not so much that she starts caring about men. and obviously, glam as hell.
- i love everyone in this bar, pt 2: nicholas. never good at his shit to begin with. figures out something else to be in the end. really shit at celibacy and courtship in a flailing darcy way. what a mess (she says fondly).
- i love everyone in this bar, pt 3: joseph, whom i love sincerely as a character but also i love that he does not get a pov because that leads me to
- i love everyone in this bar, pt 4: sophie. sophie sophie sophie sophie sophie. sophie hannigan knocked me off my damn feet. sophie whom everyone watches but sophie pov character who gets to self-examine in totally different words. sophie who is powerful “beyond what she knows” like the trope but specifically because she has chosen not to know it, because she has chosen to retreat inwardly to keep herself and joseph safe, but everyone who looks at her sees the light under her skin and wants to follow her around. muse sophie who is also storyteller sophie, who changes the world. sophie who invents beauty as its own a form of art without a medium; her medium is “making the world better through sheer force of will.” sophie hannigan, too insignificant a girl for the woman-monster to notice until she isn’t; sophie hannigan, actual guardian of her brother’s soul.
- (note: after odilé realises that sophie is important she deals with this by…inviting sophie on all her dates with her brother. like i said. all the ships.)
- and to top it all off, samira’s fancast was in my head the whole time which just made all proceedings excruciatingly hot.
talk to me about this book.
"Okey, Marlowe," I said between my teeth. "You’re a tough guy. Six feet of iron man. One hundred and ninety pounds stripped and with your face washed. Hard muscles and no glass jaw. You can take it. You’ve been sapped down twice, had your throat choked and been beaten half silly on the jaw with a gun barrel. You’ve been shot full of hop and kept under it until you’re as crazy as two waltzing mice. And what does all that amount to? Routine. Now let’s see you do something really tough, like putting your pants on."
I lay down on the bed again.
i have never been so acutely aware as in this book of how much honest to god fun the text pokes at marlowe.
i have never been more delighted.
I like smooth shiny girls, hardboiled and loaded with sin.
Nothing holds love together like shared vice or collusive perversion.
From ALL THE RAGE
(cover reveal happening this Tuesday, Sept. 16th at MTV!)
Men always say that as the defining compliment: the Cool Girl. She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means that I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.
Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see these men - friends, coworkers, strangers - giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much - no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version - maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: ‘I like strong women.’ If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because ‘I like strong women’ is code for ‘I hate strong women.’)
I waited patiently - years - for the pendulum to swing the other way, for men to start reading Jane Austen, learn how to knit, pretend to like cosmos, organize scrapbook parties, and make out with each other while we leer. And then we’d say, Yeah, he’s a Cool Guy.
But it never happened. Instead, women across the nation colluded in our degradation! Pretty soon Cool Girl became the standard girl. Men believed she existed - she wasn’t just a dreamgirl one in a million. Every girl was supposed to be this girl, and if you weren’t, then there was something wrong with you.
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn. (via whoistorule)
#nick worrying abt his lack of personhood vs. amy’s internally furious seething performative personhood#’we’re just an assembly of traits we get from tv what even is a person’ vs. amy’s specific calcuated collection of these traits#specifically TO BE ATTRACTIVE specifically TO BE AMAZING bc her parents have been writing her story since she survived#but she knows deep down that she is in fact a person#it’s just that no one wants her to be THAT person
Wherever I wanted to be touched, he touched; I don’t know how he knew. Whenever I touched him, there was a delay. I would cup emptiness before it became a smooth muscled arm. I would wrap my legs around nothing and only then find hips settled there, taut with ready energy. In this way I shaped him, making him suit my fantasies; in this way he chose to be shaped.
Drawing-break: Sophie Hatter, from Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle. I love the film, but I love how she talks to the hats in the book!
halfway through and the hundred thousand kingdoms has such graceful economical nontraditional fantasy prose and such good god stuff such awe-some awe-ful god stuff such sexy sexy god stuff
i truly cannot overstate the barely-restrained fearsome outsize sexiness of this god stuff
(it is a good time for me and new super sexy collisions of divine power and makeouts, between this and eona, and with maddi reading kushiel all the while next to me. i will take recs for where i should go from here.)