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ponkle
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎01-30-2009

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I'm enjoying the book , not reading it as fast as some but enjoying it. I really like the comments about men being able to do what they want but not women and wonder if you all feel that has changed any today ? I know women have much more "freedom" but don't we still have many double standards where men and women are concerned. This is just something I was thinking as I read peoples comments that women work etc etc but still ... 

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dhaupt
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I am really enjoying everyone's opinions about the novel and the characters and I really appreciate and thank everyone who's read it all for not posting spoilers

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swan480
Posts: 303
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

brilliantsunshine said:

 

"On a side note, I've read quite a bit of YA, and I feel like this book, so far, focuses and goes too explicitly into the sexual component of the book.  It's not horribly offensive or anything, I just feel that if this book is going to be billed as YA, maybe is should be toned down a little bit.  It doesn't seem to be making much of a point, it just seems gratuitous.  I think her point could be made without so much insinuation and actual talk about it."

 

I totally disagree.  I read tons of YA, too, and I find that sex frequently plays a role.  Think of the Twilight novels, which are also billed as YA, yet maintain an intense sexual tension throughout the books.  And they are tame compared to many YA novels I've read.  Anatomy of a Boyfriend, Anna Godbersen's books, SOLD by Patricia McCormick, Annie on My Mind.  And, heck, you want explicit?  Check out Judy Blume's Forever.  If you are concerned with how explicit Vixen is, that one will probably give you a heart attack.

 

Many of these books are challenged, of course.  There is always a parent to complain about something like that, just as you are complaining here.  But my point is that in the YA genre, sex is far from forbidden.

 

Finally, you claim that the sex talk in Vixen is gratuitous.  Again, I totally disagree.  The 20s were a time of exploring female sexuality openly in society for the first time.  The talk of sex in this book -- which is really pretty mild, when compared to the others I've mentioned -- serves to create an authentic setting.

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dhaupt
Posts: 11,839
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I don't think that the talk in Vixen is too explicit for our young adults, especially 14+

What I do think is that Vixen could be easily appreciated across many genres, I too have read YA and this is much more sophisticated than the average YA novel and would appeal to a much older audience as well.

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narcisse
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-09-2010

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

That everyone is trying to be or present something that they aren't, or to change I suppose, was really interesting to me - probably one of my favorite aspects of the book.  That every girl was different and still wanted to be something else entirely sort of speaks to the whole grass is greener thing, and shows pretty well how there are people from all sorts of backgrounds who are always wishing they were someone or something else.  I found it particularly interesting with regards to Gloria and Clara.  Lorraine seems like she would just do anything to get attention.

 

As for freedom, that definitely seems to be Gloria's focus.  She is trapped by her high society life, forced into a marriage she doesn't want and confined by rules that she doesn't want to be made to follow.  I don't see her going to speakeasies for the danger, so much as letting herself out of her cage temporarily.  Then you have Lorraine, who seems to be given too much freedom and spends all of her time vying for attention and being jealous of the things that Gloria has.

 

Another big thing in this book for me is the secrets.  EVERYONE has secrets.

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spazyreader
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Registered: ‎10-07-2010
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

[ Edited ]


Let books shape your life and open your soul.

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mybelle
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-29-2009

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

Okay, I just want to start by saying that if I didn't have company over this weekend, I could have read this entire book in one sitting. I couldn't put it down! No spoilers. :smileyhappy: Onto the questions!

 

1. I think they're interested in changing their looks because they're still discovering themselves... They think that by changing their clothes, their outward appearance and the way they look to others, they're changing themselves. It's not the look that changes you, it's how you think of yourself, and what you learn from your reaction to others' prejudices. At first, it really seemed like they were just lashing out, but as I continued to read I saw it more as healthy exploration (which, of course, wasn't considered 'healthy' back then), trying to make an identity for oneself and discover who you are. Clara seemed so certain of it, but by using 'Country Clara' as a cover, she starts to learn that she actually LIKES being 'Country Clara' (well, maybe not every bit of it :smileytongue:). She starts to feel more at home in that role. Gloria is the opposite; she starts to feel more at home as a flapper. It was interesting to read those two transitions, and to see how the girls interacted with each other. Of course Gloria doesn't know about Clara's past, but you can see how they balance each other out.

 

2. To me, personal freedom is defined more as the ability to be yourself, to push yourself to your limit and see if you can exceed it. Your limit, I should emphasize -- not what's expected of you by others. In a lot of ways the characters in this novel do that, especially Clara, who has to act a perfect angel after her time of scandal in New York and her oh-so big secret. Your limits can go either way -- drinking at a speakeasy or acting prim and proper in high society -- it depends on where you're coming from (it's all personal). Gloria seems confused at first, unsure of why she's doing anything but she's drawn to it in a way she can't explain, and lets it set her free. Where Clara is forcefully trying to break free of the reigns of the past, Gloria doesn't realize there are reigns and just has to learn to let them go.

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cabrt
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Registered: ‎10-05-2010
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

If you remember the era they are in the roaring 20's. Gloria and the other women have to maintain a certian appearance. Which as most young women of any era will fight having to conform.

There was so much for these ladies to ffight against They felt that they were being told how to act how to look and the speakeasy represents everything they are fighting against.The music the drinking and the dancing allowed a piece of them to be something the want to be.

The thrill of doing those things that are aginst what is expected of the is the total draw,

Cheryl

 

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JuneBaskerville
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Registered: ‎10-12-2010
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

[ Edited ]

Oops, I totally just replied under the wrong account (mybelle). I promise it's me you sent the book to, and I'm discussing! (I won't make this mistake next time :smileyvery-happy:)

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Atreyu59
Posts: 303
Registered: ‎08-02-2010
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I agree with you narcisse;

You make a good point about Lorraine; she will do just about anything to get or vie for attention; and it is quite disturbing to see women/girls like that.  

What I see attributes to this is her homelife-and most often times it is just that.  Mom or Dad way too busy during the vital stages of her life to feed her the nurturing that she yearns so desperately.  This will have an impact on her life and hope she will be able to turn it around to become a decent adult.

 


 Lorraine seems like she would just do anything to get attention.

 

Reading . . .is LIVING in true color
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Brooke_Lynn_G
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Registered: ‎10-04-2010
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

First let me start by saying i LOVED this book and am so glad i got the opportunity to read it! I have never read anything from the time period and i loved the idea of flappers! Vixen was so good and i cannot wait for the next installment! 

 

 

To answer you first question, i think a lot of the time people think that their looks and image define who they are, so if they change how they appear, they change how they act and who they are. I think Gloria and Clara were successful to an extent. I think eventually the their "new looks" changes how they acted which changed their lives. If that makes sense?

 

I don't necessarily think that sneaking off to a speakeasy, drinking illegal substances, or cutting one's hair" like you said makes them free, but they do it to FEEL free. Its the only way they think they can escape and not have any one forcing them upon it. 

 

I was not expecting to like to like this book so much but like i said it was fantastic. Maybe because the idea is new to me. I usually hate anything told in other than first person but loved the different perspectives of the girls. 

 

Gloria is my favorite! And i am in love with Marcus too! they have a cute friendship :smileyhappy:

Brooke-Reports.blogspot.com
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Atreyu59
Posts: 303
Registered: ‎08-02-2010

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

brilliantsunshine;

I disagree with your point of view that it should be toned down a bit.

For todays YA this is a good read.  I like it when the author writes yet leaves a good bit to the imagination instead of making everything explicit and spoonfeed known.

 

I agree with dHaupt and swan480 it is right on the money.  I do not think that this sex talk is gratuitous at all.  The hint of it in that era was shocking but today's teens, tweens, kids get more than just the hint of it in almost all other readings.  This book is right on target as far as I would permit my teen (grandbabies) read it.  The book could have gone into a bit more saucy sex because what really occurred at the speak easy's in those days, yet it didn't at all.

 

Reading . . .is LIVING in true color
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flbeachbum
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Registered: ‎07-07-2009
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I'd like to start out by saying that I was quite hesitant to even sign up for this book because I'm not a fan of historical fiction.  I was hoping with my interest of the time period I'd be ok with the book.  I'm shocked to find myself LOVING this book!  That just goes to show what a superb author we have on our hands!

 

At this point in the book, I'm not a fan of Jerome.  He seems very condescending towards women.  I'm wondering if he has been burned by a woman or if it just a part of the facade he feels he needs to put on as a black musician during this time.

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Kittysmom
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Registered: ‎08-31-2009
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I feel the same way, I love it that they devote a whole chapter to one person, I think it helps to get to know them better!

"Open a book and the world is yours"
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Superbookworm
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎10-08-2010

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I really liked the Prologue.  Who do you think is the one with the gun?  It could be Gloria since she seems to be the main character.  But I'm thinking it is Clara.

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Griffin14
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎01-06-2010

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I think as people we always see that the grass is greener on the other side. We want what others have or are, but they don't have it as easy as it seems. They want to change because they want to remove or enter situations that they did not feel they could before. Wanting to become more bad is a way to let loose and no longer feel being controlled. Bad images only attract bad attention. I think there is still a piece of them that will never let go of who they really are. You can only change your looks so much, but it doesn't change who you are.

 

None of these characters are free. They have something that is holding them, whether it is society standards, each other, social issues, or money. Sneaking around doesn't make you free. You need to be open and honest to be free and none of the characters are at that point.

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Atreyu59
Posts: 303
Registered: ‎08-02-2010

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

TO:  flbeachbum:  

I think what may be keeping you from seeing the "real" type of man that Jerome (character) is - to put it honestly - a black piano player in a mob run speak-easy in the 1920's surrounded by rich white women who are parading to be flappers; do you really think that he could be portrayed as a gentle, quiet man in front of the mob man?(forgot his name at the moment).

Imagine the looks at that time era (him talking and carrying on with Gloria as though they are friends???

Look at how he cares for his sister & watches over her.  (oops-hope that was the right section)

He (Jerome) has a job to do or the mob can find another musician and get rid of him probably just as easy as they hired him to play the piano.

 


 

 you stated ..    ...   ....   

At this point in the book, I'm not a fan of Jerome.  He seems very condescending towards women.  I'm wondering if he has been burned by a woman or if it just a part of the facade he feels he needs to put on as a black musician during this time.

Reading . . .is LIVING in true color
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Atreyu59
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

Griffin14 -

      You are so RIGHT on that remark!       :smileywink:

 

 


 

You stated it perfectly on the money!

 

 

                                None of these characters are free.

Reading . . .is LIVING in true color
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scientistsoltero
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Registered: ‎10-08-2010
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

Wow, this is my first Book Club here in BNa and I confess I was a little hesitated about Vixen. I thought it was going to be a very romantic book which I am not very fond to begin with. I am extremely happy my impression was completely wrong! This book is a non-stop read!!!! I haven't finished yet, not even finished the first part but I almost there.

 

I like how the book is written, each chapter is based from a point of view of either Gloria, Clara or Lorraine. This is the first time I read something like that. Even when it is character-centered, the connection between chapters is very good.

 

Now about what why these characters want to change? Well, I believe in the 20s women didn't have the power today's women have so they are yearning for independence and freedom. They are tired of living lives they don't want to but since their parents and/or societies have some regulations, they are bound to them.

 

I think Lorraine wll betray Gloria and Gloria will not marry Bastian. About Clara, I think her secret will be revealed but what would happen, hard to say and I must add I am dying to know LOL

 

Great book!

 

Ingrid

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vpenning
Posts: 71
Registered: ‎11-03-2009

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

This first section is a wonderful introduction to the characters. I agree that each one appears to be on the verge of reinventing themselves.

 

Having raised two children, and having worked for 3 years at high school level, I believe this is very typical of kids of that age. They want to be accepted, and they want the world to see them in the best light. However, the best light is often skewed by the teenagers own perspective of what is the most desirable image. Some believe it is the bad girl persona, where others believe it to be always doing the right thing.

 

In this story, I think Gloria has spent so much time trying to do the right thing, that she is unsure of who she really is. So, she takes the flash of the day... the flapper, and makes it the dream she wishes. In her mind's eye, the flapper has the most joy, the most fun, and the freedom.

 

In contrast, Clara has been there, done that, and wants to be what Gloria is. She wants to go back to the girl who has it all, who is loved by all, and has what seems like he perfect life.

 

Loraine is in between the two of them...she wants the get married, settled down girl of the country, but also wants to be recognized as being something more than that.

 

I am very pleased with the well roundedness of these characters. They have depth, and it appears will twist into a very good tale.

 

I am intrigued by the relationship  between Gloria and Jerome, and predict that their having to be in close proximity will indeed send off some sparks.

 

I have also had my interest peeked with the mysterious notes that Clara is receiving...and I wonder if her boyfriend in New York might have been involved in crime.

 

Speaking of which...I wonder if Gloria might get wrapped up in the gangster world...she is sitting on the edge of it now in regards to taking the job.

 

I am very much enjoying this read, and look forward to the next section!