Posted by: Lizzie Ross | August 12, 2011

Fan fiction

Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom (2010), Susin Nielsen, 229 pp.

Remember Judy Garland singing “You Made Me Love You” to a photo of Clark Gable? If you don’t remember, then watch the video.

But I digress. I picked up this quick read (still into beach-book blanket bingo) at a library near Halifax, Nova Scotia, attracted by the title. Nielsen is a Canadian author, new to me, but I liked the cover and the premise: a misfit’s divorced mother starts dating the 10th man in a long line of ever worsening losers, and the daughter, Violet, is so desperate that she writes to beg George Clooney to break the pattern.

Violet acts out her anger and frustration in typical 12-year-old ways: she scares her 5-year-old sister with tales of dust bunnies screaming in terror as they are vacuumed up (I loved that idea), makes some 2-year-old twins eat something disgusting, punches out a middle-school snob, uses a Magic-8 Ball to script her side of conversations with her estranged father, and so on. I liked Violet, and rooted for her to resolve her problems.I also liked her mother and rooted for her to stand up to Violet’s despotism.

I don’t know how easy this book is to find in the US, but it’s worth a look.

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