Thursday, March 10, 2011
Rose of No Man's Land by Michelle Tea
Trish’s older sister, Kristy, is the go-getter in the family. Unlike Trish, Kristy wears girly clothes and is popular at school, where she is studying cosmetology. Her dream is to make it onto a reality TV program. Kristy concocts a whopping lie in order to get Trish a job at Ohmigod!, a trendy clothing store at the local shopping mall in small-town Massachusetts. Trish gets fired on her first day, but it is at the mall where Trish meets Rose, a girl one year older and a whole lot badder than she is.
Rose works in the food court of the mall. Trish is attracted to her daring, devilish attitude and disregard for authority, telling us, “I would like to be badass and free, you know, clambering around dumpsters, thieving and smoking and being a deliberate fire hazard like Rose, but it’s not so much my style.”
Rose leads Trish on a wild adventure that starts with a stolen cellphone, on through hitchhiking, double-crossing a drug dealer, drinking lots of Yikes (a vodka energy drink), doing crystal meth, causing havoc in restaurants and having sex for the first time.
“I just didn’t have my head too together after what Rose had done to me. My downstairs parts still felt pretty crazy from it, actually. Central, cracked open, transmitting and receiving. It was now the satellite dish of my body.”
Trish is a likeable heroine taking a crash course on the pleasures and pain of drugs and sex and growing up.
Note added March 14: Listen to Michelle Tea reading a great passage from the book at this website.