Chestnut wanted me to read this, because she loved it:
So I did. And here's the thing: all the cultural references are to my generation.
Now I know no one who is 13 is writing a YA book (or at least, they're not publishing what they write), so the author is no doubt being true to her own cultural reality. I mean, Matt Dillon clearly resonates for her. And her introduction describes the book as a record of what happened in her own teens so: OK. Acknowledged.
But—it happens a lot. It actually drives me a lot crazier when the author makes up some weak justification for it. You know, "I stole my mom's tapes and listened to Jethro Tull all the way home and it turns out it's really awesome…." Or whatever. OK, it's not usually Jethro Tull, but you know what I'm getting at.
The weird thing is, I try to remember what books I read as a kid talked about in terms of music, movie stars, etc, and I can't remember. No one was talking about Matt Dillon—how could they? He was a freshman at a nearby high school (how cool!) and it would have seemed weird and creepy. But not much creepier than Guardians of the Galaxy presenting songs from the 1970s as universally beloved.
It gets me confused in terms of time and reality and whose culture is whose.
Am I overthinking this? I do that a lot. Help?