Friday, February 14, 2014

The Handbook of Building a Ship

Miss J (again a recap, my buddy reader) and I were discussing a book that I’d read – I was summarising (well, trying to). The conversation went something like this:

Me: Girl meets boy, boy is popular, she finds him cute but irritating…
J: uh-huh
Me: She screams at him, he screams at her – you know the fighting phase
J: uh-huh
Me: But then –
J: She has a history? Perhaps something she can’t open up to him?
Me: Um, yeah?
J:She starts finding his smile cute? Arrogant but cute?
Me: (tubelight flickers) uh-huh
J: And then they kiss?
Me: (smiling mischievously) uh-huh
J: Where have we heard this before?

Where indeed.

Dear reader, I dedicate this Valentine’s Day special to you.

How many times have we felt a sense of deja-vu when reading a book? Be it about high school, vampires, werewolves, normal people in a dystopian world, building a ship goes through the following phases:

1. The “He/She-Pisses-Me-Off” phase:

He is a bad boy (biker dude with leather jacket/jock/Casanova) with killer looks and an attitude to match.
She is a new girl, nerd, unpopular, dubbed “weird” by peers. Eventually it becomes apparent that she has a “dark history/a past she wants to escape from”.
Sometimes the roles are reversed. He is poor/geek/”lower class”. She is rich, snobbish (which eventually turns out to be a mere façade, of course) with popular friends.
She can’t stand the sight of him. Or vice versa.

2. The “WHAT-THE-HELL-IS-YOUR-PROBLEM?” phase:

She: YOUR MERE EXISTENCE IS ENOUGH TO MAKE MINE UNWORTHY OF LIVING BLAH BLAH..
He: WHAT DID I DO? YOU’RE THE ONE….

Ladies and gentlemen, somebody call the 911, the fire has started. Ooh…
3. The “He/She –May-Not-Be-That-Bad” phase:

She: He actually has a heart! It’s just he doesn’t like having an audience to his kindness (aw…) his SMILE –
He: Her hair, her smile, her eyes (and she thinks she isn’t pretty), her stubbornness (GOD SHE’S SO HEADSTRONG), she’s so cute when she’s angry (her nose crinkles, aw).

The Revelation: I may or may not have a crush on him/her.

4. The “Is-Zis-What-Zey-Call-Zing” phase:

Their hands accidently brush, a “tingling”, a “shiver” that courses through their body, they consciously touch, there’s fire everywhere, and then suddenly he/she pulls hand away…..
(Is this love?)

5. The “Let’s-Rock-This-Ship-Baby” phase:

Lights. Camera. Action.
The big kiss.  (and we all swoon)
(I’m in love.)
And so a ship has been built and all set to sail.

6. The “I’m-Putting-You-In-Danger-I’m-Leaving” phase:

Miss J thinks this phase constitutes the rest of the plot in some books. I steer clear of such books, my only experience is New Moon, but J swears this phase is omnipresent.

Thing is, I don’t know whether this is too much of a bad thing. The Mediator series, These Broken Stars, Eleanor and Park floated some awesome ships that weathered the above.

However. THERE IS A LIMIT TO ABUSING OUR INTELLIGENCE, RIGHT? Right.

Books that feature some or all of the above:
Bully – Penelope Douglas
Until You – Penelope Douglas
The Statistical Probability of Falling in Love
Perfect Chemistry
Josh and Hannah
(yawn) And lots more.

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