she is definitely Snakes

"Oh, you think I accounted for Geiger—or Brody—or both of them."

She didn’t say anything. “I didn’t have to,” I said. “I might have, I suppose, and got away with it. Neither of them would have hesitated to throw lead at me.”

"That makes you just a killer at heart, like all cops."

"Oh, nuts."

"One of those dark deadly quiet men who have no more feelings than a butcher has for slaughtered meat. I knew it the first time I saw you."

"You’ve got enough shady friends to know different."

"They’re all soft compared to you."

"Thanks, lady. You’re no English muffin yourself."

reasons to read classic noir*: noir pastiche really doesn’t have to make anything up

*quoted from The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler

"You know why I went to the peeper. I already told you. Account of Joe Brody’s girl. She has to blow and she’s shatting on her uppers. She figures the peeper can get her some dough. I don’t have any."

The purring voice said gently: “Dough for what? Peepers don’t give that stuff out to punks.”

i’ve read this passage ten times

certainly there are words in it

"Oh, can it, can it!" I rapped at him in a police voice.

not all the slang in the big sleep has stood the test of time
Q: It seems like a fair amount of people on GoodReads think The Fever is about slut-shaming but I thought it was more about how toxic (literally and figuratively) female friendships can be. What are your thoughts on it?
Anonymous

Oh man don’t freak me out like that—after I got this I paged hysterically through its goodreads reviews, trying to double check that nobody thought that this was a book that thought slut shaming was good. (Goodreads reviews from strangers are mostly one big intellectual abscess, particularly re. sexual agency politics, but apparently nobody’s THAT far gone.)

But.

The Fever is worth discussing to hell and back, which is why I love it so fucking much—I want to get it in English class, I honestly want teen girls to learn to love deconstructing literature by writing essays about it. (Iago-101-style essays about whether or not Skye is an embodiment of evil and shit. Literal mirror-image boys enforcing how little the boys matter as people and how much they matter as vessels for the girls’ will. TATTOO IMAGES. MYSTERY LAKES. THE WAY IT IS SHAPED AROUND A METAPHOR WITHOUT BEING DIDACTIC AND WITHOUT RENDERING THE REST OF THE STORY EMPTY. WHEN HAS ANYTHING SINCE MOBY DICK, AND THIS DOESN’T HAVE INACCURATE WHALE BIO TO SKIM.) Everything has an explanation but still could be magic, which is how you know it’s capital-G Good.

But. Fundamentally, if I had to pick “what The Fever is about” and distil it down to one theme: it’s about teen girl desire as a galvanic force.

Not just sexual desire, though that’s an obvious outlet. Not just desire for each other, though that has the same giant terrifying emotional-physical reverb that the sex stuff does. Not just desire for attention or importance or things. It’s just about the gaping maw of want that exists at the center of all its girls, that it posits maybe potentially exists at the center of all teen girls, both because teen girls want everything so much with such thin veils of reserve and because the world is so intent on twisting those desires and denying them the ability to act as agents of it. It’s about the corruption of those desires through denial but not the desire itself as corrupt. So: yes, talking about toxic teen girl friendships because wanting to bite into each other’s space. Yes to engaging in the way teen girls talk about sex and each other having sex, that kind of hungry condemnation. But the Big Thing manages to get at both of those and more: the idea of wanting enough to make the world break a little, and the collateral damage of that when it can’t be shared or explained or attained.

It’s about Lise and the way it makes her shine, and the way other girls want that. It’s about Gabby picking a boy to want with everything in her hungry heart but being so feverblind with the actual act of wanting that she can’t pick him out of a lineup. It’s about Skye, agent of get what you want, take what you want. It’s about Deenie at the core, dissolving herself into her friendships to keep them together and thus becoming untouched by the epidemic by subsuming herself into her friends and feeling, as herself, slightly wrong even as she goes about “getting what she” (someone else, in any given moment) “wants”, whether it’s channeling Lise’s sexual experience or Gabby’s shadow. And about all the girls watching them and becoming a part of it because they want a taste of the scary magical thing at the center of the story.

Megan Abbott writes about teen girls wanting stuff. Always. This is about that force of desire as actual force, as capable of tearing through town bodies and girl bodies and rendering landscapes mythic and bouncing off unimportant boyscapes (literally!! the boys are so superfluous to the girls’ desires you can canonically substitute one for another). As magic, which I think is the best kind of teen girl magic.

Q: have you read any maggie stiefvater? 'pinions?

her prose is a 7 that she thinks is a 9

Sophie’s teeth chattered, but she said proudly: “He’s the best wizard in Ingary or anywhere else. If he’d only had time, he would have defeated that djinn. And he’s sly and selfish and vain as a peacock and cowardly, and you can’t pin him down to anything.”
“Indeed?” asked Abdullah. “Strange that you should speak so proudly such a list of vices, most loving of ladies.”
“What do you mean, vices?” Sophie asked angrily. “I was just describing Howl.”

Castle in the Air, Diana Wynne Jones (via spacesleuth)

mareka octolaris from the glasswright saga (mindy klasky) is a whole hell of a lot, by the way

mareka octolaris literal spidergirl gets drunk off spidervenom and seduces a king so hard it makes them both see lightning bouncing out of her skin and then goes to his wedding and gives him a bunch of very important stolen spiders as a royal wedding gift and when he’s like “and what would you like in return” she’s like “for you to marry ME INSTEAD :D” and HE DOES

A shadow princess he’d called her, and someday, he’d said, a shadow queen.

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (via alinaandalion)

…I am evil. I am the filth goddess Tlazoltéotl.
I am the swallower of sins.
The lust goddess without guilt.
The delicious debauchery…

I detest the masculine point of view. I am bored by his heroism, virtue, and honour. I think the best these men can do is not talk about themselves anymore.

RF