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

To answer the first question, for Gloria, she actually says that she's tired of being her "parent's perfect girl", so that partly explains why she wants to change.  She also has that added pressure from Lorraine who is supposed to be her friend, but only seems to want to be in the thick of what is the best socially.  If she can get attention by doing everything wrong, and seem to be the person to be around, she seems happy.  Clara had a "year of sin" as her aunt calls it and has to change or she's been threatened to be sent to a boarding school for girls, that sounds similar to a modern day reform boot camp or military school.  They all manage to change the outside looks, but can't seem to break out of the unhappiness that makes up their lives.

 

The second question is about freedom.  To me freedom is being happy and being exactly who you are without having to hide how you feel.  Clara is the least free.  She can't reveal her past because if she does, she'll be sent to the boarding school.  Gloria seems to think that getting rid of Clara is the best way to clear the way to her own happiness as things spiral out of control.  She can't even tell the man she's about to marry the truth, and when she finds out he won't call off the marriage, and has in fact moved up the date, she feels even more trapped.  Lorraine isn't necessarily free, though she seems the most free to me.  She's trapped in her idea's of what she should be doing.  She wants to know everything about those she calls friends and yet she has no idea what she wants or who she is. 

 

The biggest thing that got my attention was actually the note that Clara got.  Who sent it, and why?  Who would come for Clara when she obviously left the flapper scene.  It has to do with why Clara was relieved that her aunt only knew about her year in New York.

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

I am enjoying this book although it is not my normal type of book. I love anything supernatural or shocking. This book isn't moving too fast, but the characters are intriguing. I have a theory about the groups plan to get rid of "country Clara". But I don't want to say it and possibly ruin the book for everyone including myself. lol  I think that Lorraine will change the most in this book. I can't wait to read more.

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~Stacy~
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Sapphire329
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I haven't gotten up to page 144 as yet due to having to write papers and such but I have read about 65% of the first part. 

 

I'm not sure how I feel about any of the girls right now. I think Gloria is living the way how people thinks she should live. I'm anxious to know what Clara's secret is and what may happen at the end of the book. I'm trying so hard not to read the end of the book. Lorraine to me is not a good person. 

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

FREEDOM:

 

I think that freedom in this book is getting out from whatever is holding you down.  In this book each character has a different thing that is holding them down and until each get out from under it they will not be free!

 

Em

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

 

I agree with you, however I also think that changing your look sometimes changes the way some people react to you.  In a way, that could possibly change one's life in some way or another.  Some people judge by appearance way before they have had time to know you, thus you may/may not have opportunities you might have otherwise. 
Just a thought.

myroadsoflife wrote:

To answer your first question I think that all of the characters seem to be restless in their lives and they all seem to realize that they need to change something, they just don't quite seem to know how to do it.  They each come up with different ways of changing themselves and I can relate more to some of the characters and I don't seem to like Lorraine very much, but there is some truth in how she schemes and how selfish she seems to be.  I don't think changing your look changes your life - I think fundamentally you are the same person no matter what you look like.  For example, Lorraine isn't going to become any more selfless by getting to be the one in the spotlight.

 

To answer your second question, I think freedom comes from living a happy life. I think the characters realize this and that's why they want to change their looks and their lives.  I don't think any of the characters have is so far, but, hopefully they will find it!


 

Suzi

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

Well, I couldn't help it and stayed up until 2 a.m. last night finishing the book.  I won't give any spoilers, but I must say I am really excited about the follow up book!  :smileyhappy:

 

As far as which girl is supposed to be represented, if any, on the cover, I personally think it is kind of a mixture of all three. 

 

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avalonpriestess
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Re: Lorraine

Loretta P wrote:

 

I don't feel sorry for Lorraine. I do not think that we have seen all the things that she is capable of. I really see her character as a role that crosses the line and becomes a villian in this story. I think that she wants something so bad (to be Gloria) that she will stop at nothing to try to achieve it. She is going to end up hurting people to try to get what she wants.

________________________________________________________________________

 

I agree.  I see Lorraine doing something that will totally devastate her relationship with Gloria and her imagined relationship with Marcus.  I see her getting involved with the mob to exact revenge upon her 'friends'.  Lorraine falls into the group of "with friends like her you don't need enemies'

 

 

Donna

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

So far Vixen is hard to put down.  I have enjoyed reading it and its easy to read.  It touches on several common teen issues, trying to change to fit where you think you belong is the biggest.  Its a book I am excited to see develop both in character and in plot. 

 

As far as the idea of freedom its something that in your teens you struggle with.  You want to be free of your parents, of school and other things that touch on your life that you have no control over.  You want to be the one to make the rules.  Of all the characters in the book I think Jerome is the only one with real freedom at least in the way he thinks of it, but even in society he's not free.  The color of his skin keeps him from being truly free.

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Bonnie_C
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy thru page 144


Sarah-W wrote:

I'm interested in how Clara's country-cousin 'makeover' makes her so popular with the debs and their mothers. There's something about this character that really shines. What do you all think?


For me, Clara is the most interesting character of the book.  I don't know if I'm supposed to like her or not, but I find her highly entertaining.  I loved the dinner scene when Gloria tried to draw attention away from herself by throwing Clara under the bus.  Clara comes up with such priceless statements like "It's just me, the sunrise and the cow.  And the glory of a hard day's work".  and "I cut off my hair to donate it to charity".  Priceless. 

 

It seems that only Lorraine has figured out that there is more to Clara than just being a country bumpkin.

 

Bonnie

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Sapphire329
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy thru page 144

 


Bonnie_C wrote:

Sarah-W wrote:

I'm interested in how Clara's country-cousin 'makeover' makes her so popular with the debs and their mothers. There's something about this character that really shines. What do you all think?


For me, Clara is the most interesting character of the book.  I don't know if I'm supposed to like her or not, but I find her highly entertaining.  I loved the dinner scene when Gloria tried to draw attention away from herself by throwing Clara under the bus.  Clara comes up with such priceless statements like "It's just me, the sunrise and the cow.  And the glory of a hard day's work".  and "I cut off my hair to donate it to charity".  Priceless. 

 

It seems that only Lorraine has figured out that there is more to Clara than just being a country bumpkin.

 

Bonnie


I think the scene at the dinner table was hilarious. When Clara said she cut her hair off to donate to make a real hair wig for the people in the hospital I was drinking something and almost choked. There's someone her character reminds me of when I try to visualize her but I can't put my finger on it yet.

 

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

 


ScrappyMama wrote:

Well, I couldn't help it and stayed up until 2 a.m. last night finishing the book.  I won't give any spoilers, but I must say I am really excited about the follow up book!  :smileyhappy:

 

As far as which girl is supposed to be represented, if any, on the cover, I personally think it is kind of a mixture of all three. 

 


 

I did the same thing -- was up until 1 a.m.  I didn't INTEND to finish the book, but I just couldn't put it down.  :smileyhappy:

 

Throwing in my 2 cents on the cover -- my guess is that it's not really intended to be any particular character, but rather (as has been stated earlier) evocative of the era.  Of the three young women, the cover seems most like Gloria.  One, she's the main protagonist of the story; two, the hair color is closest to her strawberry blonde (Clara's hair is honey brown, and Raine's is dark -- black, I believe); and three, the way she is dressed seems both more innocent (a pale, lacy gown as opposed to a bright, sparkly, spangly flapper-esque dress) and more what I'd picture a society person wearing rather than a flapper.

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

1. I think that each of the girls are trying to make their way through that rough teen rebellion. That time where you're trying to decide who you want to be... which in this case, is exactly the opposite of what they were. And yes, I do believe that changing their looks, they change their lives. In the long run, it might not be significant, but there will be change. It might just be a change in their outlook of life... or it might actually change the direction of their life.

 

2. Sneaking is the keyword here for me. Not only does it show how Gloria feels about her life (trapped), sneaking implies freedom... however fleeting. Freedom doesn't necessarily have to be a constant thing (does constant freedom really exist?). I think that freedom is really just moments in time where you aren't cumbered by responsibility or something holding you back. But at this point, I don't think they have freedom yet... because they aren't to the point of enjoying themselves. They are still thinking of the life they left behind. When they can put their tethers out of their minds and thoroughly enjoy the moment... they they will feel free.

 

So far I am really enjoying Vixen. I had to force myself to stop reading where I was supposed ot! I'm not really sure what to expect in the coming chapters except for Glo getting herself into major trouble, probably of her own and Raine's doing. I think that Clara's past will come out, probably at the worst of moments... and I think that Marcus will probably get much more involved in  the story. Can't wait to see if my predictions are accurate!

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Vermontcozy
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy thru page 144


Sapphire329 wrote:

 


Bonnie_C wrote:

Sarah-W wrote:

I'm interested in how Clara's country-cousin 'makeover' makes her so popular with the debs and their mothers. There's something about this character that really shines. What do you all think?


For me, Clara is the most interesting character of the book.  I don't know if I'm supposed to like her or not, but I find her highly entertaining.  I loved the dinner scene when Gloria tried to draw attention away from herself by throwing Clara under the bus.  Clara comes up with such priceless statements like "It's just me, the sunrise and the cow.  And the glory of a hard day's work".  and "I cut off my hair to donate it to charity".  Priceless. 

 

It seems that only Lorraine has figured out that there is more to Clara than just being a country bumpkin.

 

Bonnie


I think the scene at the dinner table was hilarious. When Clara said she cut her hair off to donate to make a real hair wig for the people in the hospital I was drinking something and almost choked. There's someone her character reminds me of when I try to visualize her but I can't put my finger on it yet.

 


Clara is quite "The Actress''She seems to have ,considering all she has done in a short period of time,aquired those skills."She knows how to work a crowd"  ; ) She is complex..Of course I must read on...Susan...

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

[ Edited ]

I think changing one’s image does not change who you are, it simply changes the way you look and maybe even makes you feel as if you fit in, but if you are kind inside, and you could make yourself look like Freddie Kreuger, it wouldn’t make you act like Freddie Kreuger.

If you were mean and a bully but you fashioned yourself after Maria in the Sound of Music, you still wouldn’t be loving and kind, you would still be a bully.

Disobeying rules doesn’t give you freedom; it may actually bring about the opposite result, if parents find out, or worse, if authorities do. Sneaking out and doing what is forbidden is merely defiance, perhaps even a declaration of one’s own independence. While it doesn’t necessarily mean it is the smart thing to do, it also doesn’t necessarily indicate someone who is “bad”, but it is bad judgment and some scientific studies have indicated that young teens are not really able to make the kind of rational judgments they always need to and so they often fail to think about the consequences.

For me, who you really are, comes from within you. The freedom to really be who you are, regardless of how you look is real freedom to me. The ability to be true to yourself regardless of peer pressure, is freedom to me. Otherwise you are locked away in the prison of yourself no matter what age you are.

 


Sarah-W wrote:
edited...

1. Each of the characters seems to be trying to change their lives by manipulating their image. Gloria is a good girl interested in exploring the flapper lifestyle. Lorraine is her best friend who is jealous of Gloria and thinks she can get attention through a bad girl reputation and appearance. Then we have Clara who has a past living the high life as a flapper in New York City, but decides to adopt of the persona of 'Country Clara' when she comes to Chicago to help with Gloria's wedding. Why do you think each of these character is so interested in changing their looks? Do you think they are successful? Does changing their looks change their lives?

 

2. The other thing that really struck me about this first section of Vixen is Gloria's first meeting with Jerome, a black piano player at the Green Mill speakeasy."'You're here because you think it makes you free,'" he tells her. "'Unlike the rest of your little schoolgirl friends, sneaking out without Daddy's permission. Listening to the black man play his music and dirty your lily white hands... But you ain't free, kid. You wouldn't know how to be free if your life depended on it.'" I'm very interested in hearing about what you think regarding 'freedom' in this novel. Does sneaking off to a speakeasy, drinking illegal substances, or cutting one's hair make someone free? What constitutes freedom to you, and do any of the characters we've met so far have it?

 

What are your thoughts about the first section of Vixen? What are your predictions (no spoilers, please!) about what might happen next?


 

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


mommybooknerd wrote:

FREEDOM:

 

I think that freedom in this book is getting out from whatever is holding you down.  In this book each character has a different thing that is holding them down and until each get out from under it they will not be free!

 

Em


What is holding them back from being free (in my opinion)...

Gloria...her desire to be more than what she is...to be a singer...to be her won woman and make her own choices

Loraine...to be looked for being more than being Gloria's friend...she wants her own identity

Clara...to escape her past and start again

Marcus...to be in love, not just admired by many women

Bastian...he is just bad, nothing to say about his struggle...he is the worst!

 

-Em

You are the author of your own life story.
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mommybooknerd
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144


MommaBrikz wrote:

So far Vixen is hard to put down.  I have enjoyed reading it and its easy to read.  It touches on several common teen issues, trying to change to fit where you think you belong is the biggest.  Its a book I am excited to see develop both in character and in plot. 

 

As far as the idea of freedom its something that in your teens you struggle with.  You want to be free of your parents, of school and other things that touch on your life that you have no control over.  You want to be the one to make the rules.  Of all the characters in the book I think Jerome is the only one with real freedom at least in the way he thinks of it, but even in society he's not free.  The color of his skin keeps him from being truly free.


Well, well put!

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


Sarah-W wrote:

Ooh... Marcus sending the notes... very intriguing theory! Do you think this is part of the plan to humiliate 'Country Clara' or that they knew each other before?


I hadn't thought about Marcus.  For some reason I thought the note sender might be someone in Clara's past.  She did lead a little bit of an exciting life.  Could this be mob related?

 

But I guess it could be Marcus.  Unlike the other characters we know nothing about his life.  Maybe he is somehow connected to the mob?  Just how does he know the secret password to get into the Green Mill?....hmmmmmmm

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

To me it seemed as if each of the girls was trying to take on a new persona--from the outside in. Though Clara's change is motivated by external factors (Hello, reform school), I found her change to be the most natural. Gloria seems so unsure of what she wants and Lorraine is so needy in her desire to be the center of attention, I couldn't quite see their changes taking them very far. Having read the ending, I won't pretend to make any predictions, but I still can't quite buy Gloria's change...

 

I don't think any of the characters really meets my idea of a free individual. To me, being free is being aware of who you are and being satisfied with that awareness. As I said, I found Lorraine to be excessively needy, definitely not someone comfortable in her own skin. Gloria seems just as needy, though she expresses her need more something more in a manner unlike her friend's. Clara is getting there... I found her to be the most introspective of the characters, and thought her the most likely to find some sense of peace and freedom in the end.

Gricel

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

From swan480:

 

"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."

 

I agree, I thought the sexual tension and the sensuality expressed by the characters to be a realistic part of flapper life in the '20s. Gloria's "awakening" was one of the elements that I found most intriguing about her desire to change. Books like these are constantly challenged, but I don't think there is a problem with sex in YA.

Gricel

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

 


Sarah-W wrote:
1. Why do you think each of these character is so interested in changing their looks? Do you think they are successful? Does changing their looks change their lives?
I think these girls believe that changing their appearances is the 1st small step in changing who they are. The people who already know them may not believe or even understand the change but the people who they have yet to meet will believe them to be something different. The same way Clara is being treated differently by Gloria's friends.
Gloria changing her hair may not change her life but Raine changing the way she dresses will. She's going from being a "deb" to a "harlot" and it's all starting with her change in appearance.

 

2. I'm very interested in hearing about what you think regarding 'freedom' in this novel. Does sneaking off to a speakeasy, drinking illegal substances, or cutting one's hair make someone free? What constitutes freedom to you, and do any of the characters we've met so far have it?

 

Freedom is being who you want to be rather than who you're expected or required to be. Gloria is becoming free even though she thinks it's temporary. I think she will realize the it's hard to go back to what you were once you've made such a drastic change in character.