Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Books I Love: High and Dry

I've been immersing myself in Veronica Mars for the past month. As a die-hard fan of the original show, of course I jumped at the chance to join the Kickstarter campaign last year to get the film on the big screen. As you likely know, that campaign was a huge success, shattering records left and right and, most importantly, resurrecting my beloved Veronica (and Logan, let's face it).

After I saw the movie in theaters, I rewatched the whole series, then watched the movie again, and then read the book that just came out (The Thousand-Dollar Tanline). Like I said: immersive!

But what's a Veronica Mars fan to do while she impatiently waits for the second book (and, hopefully, a Veronica Mars 2 movie*cough*Rob Thomas*cough*...)? Might I recommend picking up Sarah Skilton's just-released High & Dry?

Several years ago, I went on a noir kick, reading classics from the likes of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane. I discovered so much nuance to this genre--the language, the prototypical characters and, of course, the mysteries. I really got into it--especially the hard-boiled private dick speak, see? I found the genre almost otherworldly in its depictions and yet, so wildly fun to read.

This is why I think High and Dry is particularly a work of genius. It takes noir to the world of contemporary high school (much like VM did), dives in headfirst, and totally works. It's a deeply stylized book that examines the seedy underbelly of its setting in exactly the same way Hammett and Spillane would. Yet, despite this stylization, it remains so truthful to the darker side of high school life. And, of course, it has a wonderful mystery at its center. (Also, I am now going to fully admit that when I first read this, I totally imagined main character Charlie as Logan Echolls. Which upped the smoldering/dreamy factor for me. You are welcome to steal this visualization).

Give it a whirl. And, if you like it and haven't had a chance to read The Thin Man or The Big Sleep yet, I would wholeheartedly recommend them, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment