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Atreyu59
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I must disagree with you about the cover of the book.  I love the dress & all the ornate lace about it.  Really draws one in.  Perhaps the paleness of the teen on the book is a bit overdone, yet I love the dress & the setting around it.....

 


 

you stated:  bibanon1

 

               I have to say I don't think the cover does the book any favors.

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


Atreyu59 wrote:

I must disagree with you about the cover of the book.  I love the dress & all the ornate lace about it.  Really draws one in.  Perhaps the paleness of the teen on the book is a bit overdone, yet I love the dress & the setting around it.....

 


 

you stated:  bibanon1

 

               I have to say I don't think the cover does the book any favors.


 

Yeah, I am in love with that dress. One of my agents joked that I should get married in it. I'm pretty sure I would want to wear it more than once though if it were mine :smileyhappy:

 


 

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Sarah-W
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

 

I love your predictions.Thanks for joining us!

Lilly_White wrote:

 

my predictions:

I can see Clara showing Gloria how to have the best of both worlds. I see them becoming very close and helping eachother live secret lives.


 

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Sarah-W
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

Bastian gets a lot more exciting in coming pages. Welcome to the board! I'm glad you're enjoying the book.

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

I love the dress on the cover and could definitely see myself wearing it, of course I'd have to be 40 years younger which would be great!

"Open a book and the world is yours"
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hookedonbooks09
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

Well, Jillian, you could wear it to get married in and then every anniversary! 

 

I have to say that the cover is very well done.  It certainly captures (for me) the whole essence of that era.

 

I like the symbolism of the darkness behind her; sort of like the darkness she slips into at night.

 

Then, the pose itself, which is rather come-hither, while the dress is white, pure and delicate. 

 

Just some mind-meanderings!

 

Barb

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. ~Groucho Marx
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Jillian-Larkin
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

 


hookedonbooks09 wrote:

Well, Jillian, you could wear it to get married in and then every anniversary! 

 

I have to say that the cover is very well done.  It certainly captures (for me) the whole essence of that era.

 

I like the symbolism of the darkness behind her; sort of like the darkness she slips into at night.

 

Then, the pose itself, which is rather come-hither, while the dress is white, pure and delicate. 

 

Just some mind-meanderings!

 

Barb


Haha, Barb, that is one option I'll have to think about! That's a fantastic observation about the darkness, and one that seeps into the INGENUE cover as well. I love how the dark background works to make it seem like there is a spotlight on the model too.

 

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

It is a very pretty dress, but when I first saw the cover it did remind me of a wedding dress and not the 1920's. 

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

While reading, I'm taking the outlook as a future English teacher.  I'm currently student teaching and my students just finished Gatsby.  One of my passions is to join together classic novels with YA lit., which acts as a bridge for the students when tackeling the classic.  So far I feel that Vixen would be a good pairing with Gatsby for female readers, but I see the male students having a harder time connecting to the novel.  My male students liked discussing the gangster/crime aspect of Gatsby.  I'm still waiting for a little more mob action myself to create some more adventure. 

 

As a whole I don't know if I would pair it with Gatsby, but some excerpts from Vixen might help students connect to the time period.  So far my favorite character has been Clara and I can't wait to find out who is writing all the stalker notes.

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Jillian-Larkin
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

 


deppgirl wrote:

While reading, I'm taking the outlook as a future English teacher.  I'm currently student teaching and my students just finished Gatsby.  One of my passions is to join together classic novels with YA lit., which acts as a bridge for the students when tackeling the classic.  So far I feel that Vixen would be a good pairing with Gatsby for female readers, but I see the male students having a harder time connecting to the novel.  My male students liked discussing the gangster/crime aspect of Gatsby.  I'm still waiting for a little more mob action myself to create some more adventure. 

 

As a whole I don't know if I would pair it with Gatsby, but some excerpts from Vixen might help students connect to the time period.  So far my favorite character has been Clara and I can't wait to find out who is writing all the stalker notes.


 

Hi there! Considering The Great Gatsby would be my favorite book if I could force myself to choose a favorite, it's a huge honor to have anyone compare Vixen to it, so thank you so much for that. One thing that came up a few times on my pre-promotional tour is how the parties in Gatsby work as a veil to cover something dark and gritty underneath.  The Green Mill is kind of similar in the way that it's a glittering wonderland at night and a dank basement during the day. 

So maybe your class could compare Gatsby's house and the Green Mill?  Or just the juxtaposition in both books of glitz/glamour and ruthless attitudes?

 

I do get that Vixen is kind of a "girl" book. But I can guaruntee that there will be a lot more mob action in Ingénue. Maybe the boys will be willing to stick around for that? :smileyhappy:

 

Best,

Jillian

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Jillian-Larkin
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy thru page 144

 


TudorRose wrote:

Sarah-W wrote:

Interesting thought... I think it's part of what makes Vixen such a vivid read, but I hadn't thought to ask about the significance. Does anyone else have any thoughts about this?


StewiesMom wrote:

I'm not ready to answer the posted questions yet, but something did strike me as I read the first chapter of Vixen.  Colors play a huge part in Gloria's world.  The descriptions of many things in Chapter 1 seemed to include the exact hue of that thing.  I don't know why this stood out to me, but it did.  I haven't gone past chapter 4 yet, so I don't know if this is significant or not, but I find myself wondering why there are such vivid color descriptions, unless they hold value?


 


This is a very interesting point.  I hope we get some insight from Jillian on this.  I hadn't really thought about this aspect of the novel, but I did remember that the sight of Glo's pink bedroom almost made Clara physically sick.  I think that since colors are wavelengths of light, the tone or intensity of the color can give a clue or cue to the personality of the character.  I'm not being very clear, I know, but this is something I will be looking for as I finish the novel.


Hi guys. This really is a fantastic point, and I will say yes, color is very important in my writing. Particularly in the case of Gloria's bedroom, having an overwhelmingly pink bedroom says a lot about a person and people's reactions to it can also speak volumes about them.
The idea for Gloria's bedroom came from the fact that I had bright pink carpeting in my childhood bedroom. I picked it out when I was six. My parents cautioned me heavily against it, saying I probably wouldn't like it anymore when I was older. I was convinced I would always love pink and so I got the carpeting. By the time I was eight, I hated pink and begged my parents for new carpeting. But they didn't let me change it for a few years as kind of a lesson in decision-making. So my friends would come to my house and see my pink carpeting, and it bothered me since to me that carpeting represented a girl I no longer was.
As I've gotten older that idea has only grown to fascinate me more--the way you can at least think you're learning about someone just by seeing their houses or bedrooms, observing the way they decorate. People's perceptions color their surroundings, sure, but I'm always intrigued by the way people's surroundings color their perception as well.
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Jillian
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy thru page 144

 


Sarah-W wrote:

 

I briefly thought about this myself and then forgot... does anyone know about the legal aspects or the customs from the era? Maybe this is something we should ask Jillian when she joins us next week.

literature wrote:

 

If Clara ran away during her senior year of high school, lived in NYC for a year, shouldn't she have been  emancipated already and legally responsible for herself and not necessarily under her parents's rules?

 


 

Hi guys. Clara is eighteen, yes, but is absolutely still under her parents' rules. In the 1920s, women were still very much being handed from their fathers to their husbands. Luckily the Jazz Age was right around when women started realizing that marriage without a career wasn't the only option. But the actual reality of that was a long time coming.

 

Think about the show Mad Men. The workplace is such a difficult place for women on that show, and it takes place in the 60s--a good forty years after Vixen.

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Dewbrie9
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I think that each of the characters are dissatisfied with their lives for one reason or another.  They all opt for change by manipulating that which is the easiest and requires the least effort, the physical.  

 

Of the three characters, I find the portrayal of Lorraine the most vivid and disturbing.  There was so much intensity and texture to her decline.  It was as if we were watching her descent into madness.  For me, the portrayal of the other two seemed two dimensional in comparison.

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

 

The young character's we meet in this 1920's setting don't appear to be that  much different then the teenagers today.  Teenage confusions, insecurities and longings haven't changed much. Independence is important , challenging authority and going against the expected are standard.

It's interesting to see how these factors are dealt with in this time period where social mores are stricter and less forgiving.

 

I am finding the dialogue to be a bit cliché-ish at times The use of 20's slang seems forced and thrown in as an after thought.

 

The character's are developed nicely in Part 1 and just when I thought the story wasn't moving along something happens ( don't want to spoil) that renewed my interest and has me wondering where this is  going.

 

 

 

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

Jillian

 

I really do like that connection.  Setting description is actually one of the hardest aspects about Gatsby they had getting through and comprehending.  Thanks for the suggestion!

 

D

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goobersmom57
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

Will we be discussing the second half of the book? 

 

I also want to add that I love the cover of the book, it gives the high society feeling, and I just know that girl is hiding something, and I want to know what it is! It definitely draws me in!

S. Mathews
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Sarah-W
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

Hello, the official First Look discussion ended in November, but the boards are still open and there are still people here actively participating. The rest of the book is split into four different threads here on the Vixen First Look board. Welcome!

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goobersmom57
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

Oh! Thank you. :smileywink:

This is my first book club and I wasn't quite sure how it worked. I thought there would be questions for both parts of the book (unless I missed them somewhere along the way). 

Thank you though for letting me know!

Merry Christmas!

S. Mathews
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BoilerWriter
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

 


brilliantsunshine wrote:

I am enjoying the book, but I can't honestly say that I haven't been able to put it down.  Hopefully that will happen as I continue to read.

 

As far as the first question, I agree with the assessment that these are teenage girls in a tumultous point in their lives.  Almost all people that age look to find themselves and often do stupid things to do that.  I don't really like Lorraine's character either, but I have seen people react the same way she does, so I think she's a true to life character.

 

I think that at this point Clara is the only one heading towards freedom.  The enticing world of the speakeasies looks fun, but these girls are young and don't understand the consequences of their actions.  Even Gloria admits that after her audition she finally realized what her situation was: trapped in a dark basement with a lot of men with bad reputations who can do with her as they please.  I don't think that Clara will stay on her path to freedom, what with the notes she's been receiving, and it sounds like she has a past that won't let her find freedom until she pays for whatever she's done.

 

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 have to agree with you. This is the first time I've responded in the discussion group because I found the first part of the book difficult to get into. I, too, was hoping I'd reach a point in which I had difficulty putting the book down as I did with the last YA pick I was involved in (Before I Fall). I've read a great number of books and authors in the YA genre as writing is my passion and YA is my genre of choice. I found several times throughout the reading that this book is geared more toward an adult audience even though the characters are young adults. I could not picture the average 14 year old being aware of some of the vocabulary used or items pertaining to the 20's that were only humorous if one was familiar with the time period.

Other readers seem to enjoy the novel thus far. I'm eager to see how my opinions change throughout the book.

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

I feel like I'm hovering at the end of the discussion as this is only my second posting thus far.

Here are my thoughts thus far...

 

I found Vixen to be a challenging book to get involved in from the start. This was disappointing as I thoroughly enjoyed the previous YA pick I participated in (Before I Fall). I found the use of three narrators speaking in third person very distancing. I generally am drawn to first-person narratives because I feel like I'm experiencing the story right along with the protagonist. Multiple narrators don't bother me as long as I'm equally engaged in each character's contribution to the plot. Kathryn Stockett used multiple narrators in her wonderfully written book 'The Help' and it was impossible to put down. I'm almost positive that each character speaks in first-person in this example.

I did like the fact that the author used limited profanity throughout the book. It's challenging in recent years to find YA novels that don't overdue the profanity. My guess is that the author was trying to keep with the perceived integrity of the time.

I found the sections narrated by Gloria and Lorraine to increasingly difficult to enjoy as I read further into the book. The fact that Gloria would see a black man from a distance in a speakeasy and be immediately drawn to him without thinking of all of the challenges involved with a relationship during that time period seems hard to believe. Lorraine is a distasteful character from the start and I found myself wanting to skip over her sections of the book completely (but I didn't).

The two characters who held my interest most and who I've grown to like more and more as the story progresses are Clara and Marcus. I can feel their emotions as I read and actually have grown to care about them as characters. I'm eager to see where their story line leads.

One last thing that may just be a pet peeve of mine when reading and may not bother other people is the exchange of names. Writing is my hobby and I've taken many writing courses where naming characters is discussed. The general thought is pick a name and stick to it. I have to agree that as a reader I much prefer that rule. When several characters are involved in the story, it is also less confusing to keep track of the characters. Lorraine (also known as Raine) is used intermittingly throughout the book as is Sebastian (also known as Bastian). If the authors wants them to be known as Raine and Bastian, introduce them as such from the beginning and stick with it. I much prefer Lorraine and Sebastian as they sound like real names, but that's simply my own personal preference. Whichever the author preferences, stick with those. (I also believe Gloria gets shortened to Glo from time to time as well.)

I was hoping my experience with Vixen would be an enjoyable journey. I really do hope I grow to enjoy it more as I go along.