Gods in Alabama, by Joshilyn Jackson (who is on the GCC with me) is about going back to face the demons of your high school life. Something I no doubt need to be doing myself, or I wouldn't be writing so many darn books about high school. Her main character, Arlene, thinks she's escaped her small, lily-white Alabama hometown; she's living in Chicago with her African American boyfriend. But her arch-enemy from high school appears on her door, digging up a secret Arlene had hoped would remain hidden forever -- and her boyfriend's insisting she introduce him to the folks. Fate is pointing her south.
This book is getting so much hype I hardly need hump it on this blog. It's the # 1 Booksense pick for April, and Adriana Trigiani, who wrote the wonderful Lucia Lucia, says of it:
"Joshilyn Jackson's stellar debut has all the elements of great southern fiction, a plucky heroine with a sense of humor,a gripping tale and a mysterious dead body that needs explanation. Arlene Fleet, with a crystal clear voice and purpose takes the reader on a wild ride of despair, hope and redemption that no reader is likely to ever forget. What a storyteller! What a new, original voice!"
And here, exclusively at The Boyfriend List for your entertainment, Jackson's Gradeschool Impossible Crush Boyfriend List, which is so dang funny I almost fell of my chair.
The Gradeschool Impossible Crush Boyfriend List.
by Joshilyn Jackson
My first crush was on Mr. Spock. I SO wanted Mr. Spock to be my boyfriend. Yeah, okay, so he is the tiniest bit EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE... But he is my type: tall and dark, quirky sense of understated humor, and a science geek. I remember I got ALL in a froth during an episode where some FLOWER shot darts into Mr. Spock and released his inner-love-junkie. I used to act out scenes from that episode in my bedroom, ending with me saying "Oh! Mr. Spock!" and having a make-out session with my bedpost. I was NOT right in the head when it came to Mr. Spock. I also used to pretend the Enterprise was trapped in DEEP SPACE when the next 7 year mating cycle rolled around and Mr. Spock had to marry or die. Yeoman Me to the rescue...
My next crush was on Lurch. Yes. Lurch. From the Addams Family. It makes sense, I guess. Tall? Check. Dark? Check. Quirky understated humor? Well, sure, he doesn't actually speak. He just groans in an irritated fashion. But the comic timing of those groans...perfection! And as I recall a NASTY little girl who sat behind me was making my life a season in hell. I used to imagine LURCH rising up behind my left shoulder and groaning threateningly at her.
Then my brother glued all the pages of my favorite book together (Charlotte's Web) and told me he wouldn't get me a new one unless I read the replacement book he gave me. Which was CONAN THE DESTROYER. I developed a HUGE crush on Conan, who was tall and dark and unstoppabble. And smelly! And manly! And GRUNTY!
Then I got weird.
I next developed a serious and actual crush on...
THE CONSTELATION ORION. No, really. I used to stare up at his belt (the only reconizable part of him) and imagine his dots all connecting and fleshing themselves out until he floated above me, a man with Spock's brain and elegant speech, Lurch's height and stoicism, and Conan's battle prowess. Orion would lay his weapons aside and reach down and give me a hand up into the sky with him. People would look up and see all these new stars twinkling beside him, and that would be me.
Then I went to middle school and started having crushes on actual boys, but I don't remember that list of mere mortals half so vividly. Some I barely remember at all. The real boys fade and pale next to the fictional men that left the screen and the page and the sky to inhabit my head and my heart and my much-kissed bedpost.
Note from E.: Jackson's blog is full of this kind of juicy stuff. Get thee there, pronto.