The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It’s a good thing I don’t judge books by their first lines. Or their second lines for that matter because lines like, “I sensed him in my midst. The air seems to thin when he’s near me.” Does not even scratch the surface of how delightful I found Allie to be. With those two lines, one might imagine girls of the frilly dress and maybe even ghostly would be lovers. Not the case. Thank god.
Vinyl Princess is a girl with a passion for the little record shop she works in; a passion running a close second for her true passion: LP’s. It’s her passion that shone through. Because it’s a passion I like to think I possess for the second hand book shops (Book Sale) and Fully Booked Shops here at home. But more than her passion, there’s also the fact that she could read wise (with her ‘think it through’ bits of wisdom for Kit,) and then sound so young (with her considering a certain someone’s eye color: ahem, sea glass green;) and then be absolutely hilarious (with her blurting out thoughts on speedos and whether seeing someone in one was next to seeing them in their underwear.)
So old soul, music lover, and part time world changer all in a tidy package that’s self described as boyish, (i.e. flat in the general area between neck and tummy.) The world changer bit is something I laughed at a little. She’s rather ambitious, but honestly, I thought got a bit self-aggrandizing with the fanzine. But I like her spunk, of how one moment she’s thinking of something; then the next she’s doing something about it. Because throughout the book, she does what she wants. Whether what she wants be to mock her father or her father’s new wife or even herself; or to write up a blog to get people to pay attention to music and yes, maybe even conquer the blogosphere.
Past the first two lines, this book was an absolute blast. When you get to the point where she talks normally of her day to day, you really do get a sense of how normal she is. Her relationship with her mother, for instance, it’s not dysfunctional. They care about what the other says and are present for each other. Sure, she’s unsure about changes happening, both of them are… but the changes don’t cancel out the fact that there’s a real relationship there. Or her with father, that they connect on one level but somehow missed out on all the others felt sad but real. And then of course the bit that brought out the ridiculously young sounding side of her: Kit. Allie’s smarter with her, but less serious too. I like them together, but there could have been more. I wanted more. And Pierre, the cat. I love, love, love how accurately the cat is painted in this one because ours are just as prissy-royal as Pierre sounds.
Another thing I enjoyed was how unapologetically snobbish she could be. Allie is just of the musical variety ( she listens to Dave Mathew, she sort of sneers.) This should give you a sense of how odd AND normal most everyone is in this book. She seeks to rejuvenate the world with a love for LP’s and seems pumped up enough to blog about it, then write, publish, produce a fanzine for the same. Plus have I mentioned how the girl could poke fun at just about anything: her non existent boobage for one, or her non-loyal feline companion caught cheating on her Japanese would be ghost of a renter? I liked it all, her descriptions, her wordiness, her humor.
And though she may not have been living a difficult life, her story has got me pumped once again over the twinning of music and YA. That something special I was looking for in Amplified is something I have found here. The love angle was in turns interesting then cute then predicable and obvious, but just get a load of what she has to say for the mixes: “The mating call of the romantically challenged.” Damn me, if I don’t love how she put things.
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