“Ladies (and probably more ladies), Girls (and, I’m assuming, more girls), the Internet is Proud to Present…”
“No Boys Allowed Reviews!”
No Boys Allowed Reviews is written by five girls who met each other in college, in Vermont, who have since gone their separate ways. Five years have passed. Some of us still live in New England, some are scattered across the country. Coming together to read and review one (girly) book every month is our attempt to create a bridge over the distance and stay in touch. We meet on the last Tuesday of every month to talk about what we’ve read (either in person or virtually), catch up, and eat delicious, unhealthy, lard-ridden baked goods. We give our opinions between bites of chocolate and swigs of mind-altering beverages, and then we write some stuff down. Finally, we present it to you, in the form of book reviews on this blog. There will be a post on the first of every month, starting in August! Each post will contain 5 reviews, from 5 totally different people with wide-ranging interests, hopefully giving you a broader idea of whether or not you might like something. It will show how the same book can effect each of its readers in wildly different ways. In the words of Kelly Link, “Stories shift their shapes.”
Each reviewer has chosen an old nursery rhyme, typically associated with old-fashioned ideas and gender stereotypes, to structure her reviews. In this way, we’re reworking the rhymes, claiming them as our own, and showing that not only are girls made of “sugar, and spice, and everything nice,” but we (and all girls who are worth a damn) are made of wit, and strength, and spirit and thought, and big ol’ brains, too! And chick-lit can be made of that stuff, as well. We are not to be trifled with! (We are to be truffled with).
There was a little girl / who had a little curl / right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good, she was very, very good / but when she was bad, she was horrid.
Alyisha works in a Children’s Library, where she reads stories to 3-year olds and plays with glitter & googly eyes all day long. She majored in English Literature & Religion; her favorite God is Shiva; her current favorite book is “The Magicians” by Lev Grossman; and she wishes Haribo made entire bags of only pineapple gummy bears. She loves peep-toe pumps, and dreams of a happily-ever-after complete with a tall, dark & handsome hunk and a diamond ring; but she also loves the color blue, punk rock music, and science-fiction. She’d like to say something cool, like “she knows how to hot-wire a car,” or, “she can do 25 chin-ups,” but she’d be lying. On both counts. (She’s got arms like limp noodles and doesn’t even know how to drive a stick shift). But she could still kick your ass… at Scrabble.
Girls rule / boys drool.
Arianne thinks that talking in the third person is weird, but is doing so for the sake of continuity. A walking contradiction, she’s an MBA working in non-profit, a cat lady with no cats, and an artist with a penchant for engineering. She wants to save the world, but will settle for traveling as much as possible. Her latest obsession is decorating her kitchen in retro turquoise furniture and accessories found at antique stores. She loves to read, but mainly sticks to historical fiction, fantasy, and YA trash, which is perfectly suitable for lounging on the beach, incidentally, one of her favorite pastimes. An enigmatic libertarian who owns far too many shoes, Arianne doesn’t know how to finish this sentence.
I like coffee, I like tea / I like the boys and the boys like me.
Kristin’s love of books and reading led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a master’s degree in library science. She loves to talk about libraries to anyone who will listen, which is why she leads tours of a beautiful library in her home city, Chicago. She firmly believes that everyone should read E.M. Forster’s A Room With a View as soon as possible. Her avocations include watching HGTV and trying to get Thomas Pynchon to go out more; she also appreciates semi-colon usage.
Georgie Porgie, pudding pie / kissed the girls and made them cry.
Megan was born in the wrong decade. Her affinity for all things Jane Austen or from the first half of the 20th century suggests she missed her appropriate time period, and explains why the majority of her reading material is historical. Megan supports her book obsession (as the number of boxes of books recently moved attests, and the fact that custom bookcases need to happen) by being a literacy teacher, tutor, and part-time bookseller. Her free time is spent acquiring things that are green, sparkly, and/or shoes. She refuses to read anything sad, and tries to avoid all depressing things.
I’m a little sailor girl, dressed in yellow./ This is the way I treat my fellow./
I kiss him and I hug him/ And I kick him in the pants./ That is the end of my romance.
Victoria Rose thinks that using her middle name might be pretentious but not so pretentious that she won’t play it off as casually cool. She holds approximately 12 jobs at any given time but is most proud of working as an Artistic Associate at the largest Shakespeare company in Boston, MA (teaching, directing, acting, playing, and producing Shakespeare for 100,000 people outdoors each year, and generally not sleeping). As she attempts to avoid being an actually-starving-artist, Victoria supplements living her dream by freelancing as: a director and actor, child-wrangler for the ballet, conservatory opera director, after-school arts teacher, practice patient testing medical students, educational audio book editor, church childcare provider, Mother Goose at the local farm and you guessed it….tiny hat-wearing birthday clown (ask her to make a bicycle…I dare you). She can’t believe she found time to write this bio. Love to her co-writers, the ever-astoundingly-intelligent SMC girls who despite miles, mortgages, marriages, and more never really left 4th floor Joyce.
Our best intentions (it remains to be seen whether or not we will actually follow through) are for the first review to be posted tomorrow. We promise that we’ll do our darndest to act on those intentions (instead of letting them pave the way to blogging Hell). Cross our hearts and hope to die.