Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Feasibility of Romance in Mental Institutions

Teen mental hospital romance is kind of becoming a genre. And, as formulaic as they kind of are, I like them. (More than, say, Sarah Dessen's brand of formulaic-ness.) Examples:

It's Kind of a Funny Story--Ned Vizzini (possibly started this whole thing)
Get Well Soon--Julie Halpern
Recovery Road--Blake Nelson

The first and last are arguably more serious, and the second is the funniest ipso facto the best (did I even use that correctly? Dammit Latin, why do you make things sound better without making any logical contextual sense?). It's so good that I'd kind of like to commit myself because it's gotten in my head that I will meet a cute/unstable boy there. This is probably untrue, I'd be too busy trying to get my shit together to notice any attractive Joey Ramone lookalikes. (More bonus awesome points for this book. Anachronistic music nerdiness FTW.) None of it seems realistic to me, but I wouldn't say no to something like this conversation:

A Sample Dialogue Between Teenaged Crazies
"What're you in for?"
"Bipolar. You?"
"Mmm, sexy. You wanna make out?"
"Sure." *commence kissing* *stop kissing* "Wait, now I have to kiss you six more times or my lips will be unbalanced." (Note that this would either be a fantastic excuse to kiss this hypothetical guy more, or a mortifyingly probable situation.)

Sometimes I do honestly think I have a slew of mental illnesses: OCD, Schizotypal personality disorder, dysthymia. . . (I could go on from here and I know this is mostly irrational and ineffective but I'd venture to guess at least the OCD diagnosis via Dr. Internet is correct) *music plays* The More You Know. Thanks, Google! And then some part of my brain goes "It's hormones, bitch. Get over your damn self, the fictional characters are worse off than you."

On a "this is the Internet"-type level, I also like that I managed to find Julie Halpern's blog (and that it's relatively frequently updated) instead of my only recollection of the author as a person being something like this:

Amanda McPseudonym lives in Wyoming with a pack of wolves and a man she claims is her husband. This is her first novel. You can read more about the book by going to the publishing company's website but you're probably going to forget it in a day and a half anyway. You read it already, what are you nosing around the back cover for? Piss off.

Because, you know, most of them *do* sound like that. Who even writes author blurbs? (. . .to Google!)