Thursday, December 6, 2012

READ-A-THON! X-It by Jane George: Chapter 4-6 “So what’s up with this X-It guy, anyway?"


If you guys missed the first day of the Read-A-Thon, check out the intro post and the first post!

Disclaimer: I've only discovered this a few chapters in, but here it is: This book contains some descriptions of sexual nature (that only adds to the plot and characterization, if I may add).

Again, here's what X-It is about:

Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 210
Publication Date: Mar 26, 2012
Website: Jane George | X-It on Goodreads



In 1980 NYC, eighteen-year-old J.J. Buckingham is an uptight trendoid. Working as a mannequin painter and a counter girl, she moonlights as a creature of the nightclubs. J.J. falls for aloof, crazy-talented artist and bicycle messenger X-It. In order to win his love, she succumbs to the dark machinations of drug dealer Marko Voodoo. X-It will love her if she’s the queen of underground Manhattan, right? Her plan backfires with horrendous consequences. Can J.J. find her way out of a maze of drugs, clubs, and danger?

In Chapter 4-6...

X-It meets a former friend of J.J. (huge stress on “former”), Penny, and invites her group to stay at their house. Needless to say, J.J. doesn't feel too good about it.

My thoughts

There was something I really enjoyed about this story, and I couldn't put my finger on it in the last post, but now I figured out what it is:
The pacing.
As with many character-driven stories, J.J.’s thoughts are right there in the spotlight. Yet, with the characters living what essentially is a crazy, rebellious life, the pacing cannot be too slow. A lot of authors make the mistake of dragging out passages on what the characters are feeling, but Jane George is talented enough to describe the changes in J.J.’s thoughts without losing pace.

What's more, she even manages to keep the changes justifiable all the way, too. In three chapters, we saw J.J. from frightened, relieved, worried, jealous, to total breakdown. However, these changes are always adequately explained and explored with a heartbreaking realism. In other words, I didn't have to interrupt my reading to look up and say “Wait, real people don’t think like this.”

I’m enjoying the “relationship” between J.J. and X-It, with all the (romantic and sexual) tensions. But I think X-It is even more special than that. To J.J., he is like a soul mate, a person she feels is her meant-to-be. Which makes her jealously of his intimacy to Penny (her “former” friend) even more resonant:

I’m more upset that X-It might be turning Penny into his ideal than I will be if they’re mating like rabbits.

That said, what’s with this X-It guy, anyway? If there’s one thing I have to complain about this novel, it is that I don’t feel X-It’s character was developed enough. I know he is “magical” (J.J.’s description), but if he’s my best friend, and he invites a group of friends I've made clear that I don’t like to the room we’re sharing, and still got me feeling like this:

I look over at X-It and try to hate him, try to pity him, try to feel emotionally superior, but his nearness, his plea, soaks my heart.

He’s got to either have a really good reason, or be damn right special. Yes, even more special than:

“The way you point out in the morning that the color of eggs beaten with milk is one of the prettiest colors in the world. Or when I spilled the big bag of M&M’s on the floor, you wouldn’t let me clean it up for awhile because it was so beautiful. You’re beautiful.” [X-It to J.J.]

Though I will admit that if I were J.J., I would have melted at such words *SWOON*
I hope we’ll learn more about him and why he is so special later on in the book.

How much have you read of X-It? Comment below on your thoughts!

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