Confessions of a Blabbermouth
I had high hopes due to the premise — teenage blogger can’t cope with mom’s new boyfriend — and the co-writer, Louise Carey, who is an actual 15-year-old girl and daughter of established writer Mike Carey. I was sadly disappointed with Confessions of a Blabbermouth. And to tell you why, I have to spoil the book, so if you don’t wanna, skip to the next post.
The book starts in a very cartoony fashion, with Tasha, our Teenage Heroine, throwing an iron around in frustration at her mother, who runs an online underwear business, because Mom’s going to bring the new boyfriend home. Goofy, right? Sitcom-like? Except the plot turns on hints of father/daughter incest. Which is a bit heavy for this kind of intended comedy. Especially given the twisted way it’s handled.
It turns out that the incest is all a misunderstanding, which makes it worse, to use this not as a plot point but a feint to mislead the reader. The real secret is that Dad is writing his daughter’s column for her. She doesn’t want to be a writer, but he forces her to front for him so he can talk about the real youth of today.
Let’s look again at those creator credits, shall we? Daddy and daughter are co-writing a book about a modern girl. Creeped out much now? Especially when you read the “about the authors” blips and see that Ms. Carey is listed as writing a journalistic column. Just how much is fictionalized here?
Then there are the little inconsistencies, like: Do a lot of teens blog from an internet cafe? Don’t most have their own computers? (At the end we find that she does, so why does she pay for access?) Why does Tasha get so upset at a pretty innocuous column about bloggers in the paper? (I’ve seen a lot worse from comic writers ranting about review blogs.) Why does she hate the idea of other people praising her writing skills so much when she’s obviously looking for attention or she wouldn’t be blogging?
In short, the personalities didn’t ring true for me. The book was drawn by Aaron Alexovich, about which more tomorrow. His style is very much love it or hate it, lots of black, lots of scratchy, gnome-like characters. He previously did Serenity Rose, about a goth witch, where it fit more organically.
Jeff Lester uses his dislike of elements of the title to talk about problems with the Minx line overall.