I have a confession to make. I never read Little Women as a child. I KNOW. For someone who eventually latched onto Jo as, like, main role model number one (tied with, I don’t know, Elizabeth Bennet and Hermione Granger, probably), this is just unacceptable.
I finally read it in high school, which I suppose means I actually DID read it as a child, but teenhood feels so much different than childhood, yeah? Plus, the only reason I read it, I’m fairly certain, is because of this (and maybe also this):
Christian Bale, siiiiiiiiiiiigh. This was after he sang about Santa Fe and danced in Nazi Germany, but before he started axe-murdering and growling at people, and YOU GUYS was I ever in love. Laaaaaaaaurie. Sweet Laaaaaaaaaaaaurie.
Li’l Wimmin, the comic adaptation of Little Women, by Grady Hendrix and Ryan Dunlavey, gets Laurie’s character a hell of a lot better than I did as a lovesick teen. Because he’s kind of creepy, yeah? With his obsession with marrying one of the March sisters?
You all know the story of Little Women, right? There are four sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy (ugh). Their father is off at war, and their mother is forced to do what she can to take care of them (not prostitution). They’re pretty poor and things are grim a lot of the time but the point is THEY ARE GOOD AND LOVE EACH OTHER. They even love Amy somehow.
Laurie comes to live with his grandad next door and Jo basically makes him her pet. You totally want them to fall in love (especially in the movie where Winona Ryder and Christian Bale spend the entire time making googly eyes at one another) but Jo ends up with some old German professor guy, who I GUESS is OK but I prefer the ending my friend Heather Anne made up, where Jo dumps the professor and marries Laurie and Amy gets eaten by a bear.
One of the things Li’l Wimmin gets so very right is the depiction of Amy, who is the capital W WORST (and not in a fun Britta way), all nose job worries and freakin’ limes and…I’m sorry, I know she’s not REALLY that bad, but she burns Jo’s manuscript and so I will never forgive her. Like, don’t throw anyone’s shit in a fire, OK? How is that difficult?
(Remember in Ever After when Angelica Huston burns up Drew Barrymore’s copy of Utopia, the only physical thing she has left of her father? No? Just me? WELL IT BURNS ME UP INSIDE JUST LIKE HOW JO’S MANUSCRIPT WAS BURNED UP BECAUSE OF STUPID AMY.)
This review is going way off the rails. Too much writing juice*!
Anyway. My husband got me this book for Christmas because A) Little Women is awesome and B) one time we met Ryan Dunlavey at TCAF and got some of his books and liked them. GOOD STORY, JENNIE.
I’d never read anything by Grady Hendrix before now but now that I have, I’ll definitely read some more of his stuff. DEFINITELY, I SAID. I’ve already added some to my To Read list, which means my To Read list is now approximately 100 bagoddamnjillion books long and I’m alternately excited and depressed about that. You guys get that, right? Like, there’s no way I’ll ever, ever, in a hundred million years be able to read all the books I want to read. There are just too many. Even if I quit my job and stopped sleeping and showering (CHALLENGE ACCEPTED), I’d never have time to read them all. Doesn’t that just depress the everloving shit out of you? UGH WORLD WHY ARE YOU SO HORRIBLE SOMETIMES JUST LET ME READ FOREVER AND EVER THAT’S ALL I WANT OUT OF LIFE.
Anyway, if you ever feel these feelings, too, especially after drinking too much writing juice, I HAVE GOOD NEWS. Li’l Wimmin is pretty short, so you can read it really quickly (even with plenty of time to look at the adorable drawrings) and move on to the next book of your never-ending To Read list, which should help you ignore the fact that you’re going to die someday.