Thursday, February 7, 2013

Radio Week: "Little Talks" by Of Monsters and Men

 Katie's stopping by Radio Week with a song and a book that both are a little more sinister than they seem at first glance.

“There's an old voice in my head that's holding me back
Well tell her that I miss our little talks Soon it will be over and buried with our past
We used to play outside when we were young
And full of life and full of love.”

“You're gone, gone, gone away I watched you disappear All that's left is the ghost of you.”

These are just a few, no doubt, now familiar lines from Of Monsters And Men’s megahit “Little Talks.” But these excerpts could just as easily serve as marketing copy for Brenna Yovanoff’s latest, Paper Valentine.

Indeed, we meet Hannah six months after she watched her best friend, Lilian, disappear slowly as a victim of anorexia. It is now the hottest July on record, avian flu is in the air, and a serial killer is haunting the community. But that is not the only haunting going on in Ludlow. Hannah’s near constant companion is that of Lilian’s ghost. A lifetime of memories dance in and out of Hannah’s mind in flashbacks as she works with Lilian to track down a murderer, seeks to protect her little sister, falls in love for the first time, and slowly begins to figure out who she is when she steps out of the shadow of the past.

This might seem like a strange pairing at the outset if taken at surface value. The Icelandic folk-pop song is upbeat and boisterous, belying the serious content of the lyrics. Yovanoff’s book, on the other hand, strikes a far more dark and serious tone, and yet the conclusion may be the more hopeful of the two. You can almost hear the horns and accordion blare in the background as Hannah takes those tentative first steps toward being her own person. Mixed in with the bitter sense of loss is hope for a future that is even more “full of life and full of love.”

And if television is more your thing than the radio, this book also pairs remarkably well with the first season of Veronica Mars--a dead best friend, a mystery, plenty of socioeconomic and class tension, a fall from grace with one’s friends, romance, and suspense.

So listen, read, then watch. And most of all, enjoy.


Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

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