Well, I did it. I managed to read 10 books this month! I had my doubts around mid-month, but somehow managed to make it.
(* I feel the need to preface this with the fact that this is getting ready to be a really long Gilmore Girl rant so um… if that sounds boring to you I’m not going to be offended if you want to just wait til next time… *)
It’s no secret, I’m obsessed with the Gilmore Girls. I’ve watched every season somewhere between 5 and 7 times, some episodes more if I catch them on TV. When an episode begins, I immediately know what the whole episode is about from memory. I can recite the lines, and will at every given moment relate real life events to something that happened on the Gilmore Girls. So I was pleasantly surprised when I found Like Mother, Like Daughter, a novelisation of 5 episodes from season 1 of the show from the first person point of view of Rory Gilmore (the daughter).
First, here is the synopsis from the back of the book:
Okay, let’s face it. My mom and I are never going to have a “normal” mother-daughter relationship because my mom isn’t just my mother, she’s my best friend. She would do anything for me, including asking her parents for the tuition money to send me to Chilton, this prestigious prep school that just accepted me. That was probably one of the toughest things she’s ever done, although agreeing to weekly dinners in exchange for the loan probably runs a close second. My mom’s just miserable at the mere thought of this. But the way I look at it? – I’d just say life is going to get a lot more interesting.
– Catherine Clarke – Like Mother, Like Daughter
Ok, seriously I’m a mega insane fan of the show, I need to go to Gilmore Girls anonymous for crying out loud… and even my eyes begin to gloss over at that synopsis. Maybe it’s because I’m not a young pre-teen/teen which surely this book is aimed at? I’m not sure, I mean, if I’m not elbow deep in a good Stephen King or a good Chuck Palahniuk novel, I’m usually devouring the latest YA novel I’ve unearthed at the book store (yeah my tastes are insanely varied…) So I like to think I can deal with reading a story aimed at a younger audience, but this book just had me literally exclaiming “You have got to be kidding me!?!?!!!” to my husband about every 5 seconds.
The first thing that bothered me about this novel is that as it’s first person narration from Rory’s point of view, you get all this Rory internal monologue that isn’t present in the show. The dialogue of the novel is directly word for word from the episodes, so that is the only redeeming factor. But the things that Rory thought, just didn’t sound like Rory to me. I suppose maybe non-fans of the show wouldn’t mind or notice, but at the same time I don’t see a non-fan of the show even trying to read this book.
Anyway, here are a few sections that had me sighing loudly:
First, Rory and Dean’s first meeting –
I gazed up the legs. They were connected to a very good-looking boy’s face. He was tall, at least six feet, and had brown hair that flopped nicely. He was wearing a leather jacket and was really, really handsome.
So his hair flops nicely, he’s very good-looking and really, really handsome…isn’t there a better way to convey “hey, this guy isn’t hard on the eyes!”? In the show, what we get is Rory on the ground, slowly panning up from his legs to his face, and then stammering like an idiot. Is this just the reverse effect of “the book’s better”? This time it’s the show that’s better….
Ok moving on…here is a section where Lorelai, the mother, has just informed Rory that they are going to the grandparent’s house for dinner on Friday:
“We are?” I asked, surprised. My grandparents. Emily and Richard Gilmore. Even though they only live half an hour away in Hartford, we don’t see them often. I was surprised by my mom’s statement.
“Mm hmm,” Mom said.
“But it’s September,” I said.
“So?” she asked.
“So what holiday’s in September?” I asked. We usually only went to Grandma and Grandpa’s for holidays. Major holidays.
First, this bothered me because she felt the need to convey she was surprised by her mom twice in about 3 seconds. Second, her asking her mom what holiday in September to me conveys they only visit on holidays, no need to then go ahead and restate that.
Am I just nit-picking here? I honestly don’t like being harsh, and I especially don’t like being harsh to something Gilmore related, but this writing just seems bad! Again, the dialogue is good, and reading the script would probably be amazing, but this novelization just isn’t working for me.
Finally one last section that bothered me – Rory describing her grandmother Emily:
My grandmother looked perfect. She’s always wearing an actual outfit, like a suit, and her hair is done, and she has on pumps with heels, and pantyhose.
I’m sorry but Emily Gilmore surely commands a better description than that! “An actual outfit, like a suit”….really?
I’m going to be honest, I’m really conflicted by this whole thing. I love the Gilmore Girls show so much, that disliking anything to do with them is hurting me physically and mentally. I don’t even want to leave the house or speak to friends after having such a mental conflict. The book did get a little better, after all the new character’s descriptions were out of the way. It sort of just went along to mostly being dialogue, and since the dialogue was word for word from the show I really enjoyed that part. I do have more of these books, and I’m not sure if I will try to read them or not. Hopefully she won’t have to describe her grandmother anymore, so it might be halfway decent.
Phew Ok, sorry about that guys, major Gilmore rant is officially over.