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My summer reading

Jordan Gamble | Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In my quest for easy summer reading, I tried out romance novels. They scared me.

So I inevitably drifted to the Young Adult corner at my library. Like a good lazy reader, I only considered book with awesome covers.

“Another Time, Another Love,” by Vivian Schurfranz, drew me in because of it’s striking paperback tableau: a guy in a Revolutionary War uniform standing next to snow-capped tombstone (duh, historical fiction for the win). I grabbed it and checked it out and started reading it before it I realized that one of those lame time-traveling-romance novels. The main character isn’t even from the Revolutionary War – she’s some gal from 1995 with a penchant for stirrup leggings and saying “mustn’t.”

All I really cared about was the history stuff, honestly. I’m not much into sci-fi. Maybe this is a good book if you like “The Patriot” in book form with the convenient time-traveling mechanism so you can still have high school and fashion trauma.

So, after becoming exasperated with all of Nineties Gal whining about her boyfriend who doesn’t take her to Olive Garden, I skipped ahead through the book to find the historical fun that surely must ensue (based on the cover, anyway). Well, it gets worse. Nineties Gal just goes back in time for little bits: a ball here, some tea parties there. I never got into it enough to figure out how exactly she travels back to the 1770s with her hottie ghost friend Edward (who’s British and has a sexy accent, of course).

I guess what I was really looking for this summer was the adult version American Girl books. (American Girl is a line of dolls and books coveted by every girl under twelve. Think History Barbie, only more anatomically correct.)

These books had it all: history, morals, adventure, awesome clothes, and even romance. My favorites were the Felicity ones that took place in 1774. It’s because of Felicity that I’m obsessed with colonial America and the reason I picked up this Schurfranz novel in the first place. In second grade I would sit on my bed for hours, chain-reading all five books in the Felicity series, along with Molly (World War II) and Addy (the Civil War).

But not Samantha, because all my friends had prissy, frilly Samantha dolls. None of these Samantha girls knew what “stays” were or what “side-saddle” meant, or how to politely refuse tea in case they were protesting taxation without representation. Samantha’s stories took place in 1904, and all the Samantha girls knew were the various ways to create calling cards and to wear big bows in their hair.

But I digress.

Maybe I should just contact the American Girl company and see if they have any plans to expand the series into the characters adult years, because Felicity and Ben the merchant apprentice should totally hook up.