Monday, December 16, 2013


Lydia Kang is an author of young adult fiction, poetry, and narrative non-fiction. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, completing her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is a practicing physician who has gained a reputation for helping fellow writers achieve medical accuracy in fiction.

Kang applied the Page 69 Test to Control, her debut novel, and reported the following:
On page 69 of Control, my protagonist is face to face with Cy, the resident angry teen boy in the new foster home full of mutant freaks she now resides in. She's just gotten pretty cut up from trying to escape through a broken window, and Cy is removing the shards of glass.
"You." Cy points to the long examination table. "Lie down. And stay down."
Here's where the reader should go, "What a jerk! He's talking to her like she's a dog." The reader is right. He is a jerk! For now.
I start to relax. Lying on my back, there's nothing to look at except Cy. I notice that behind all the tattooed skin is a good cheekbone. He works steadily, never looking up. My heart hardens a little. The distance he's put between us feels like an insult.
Anyone who's been to the doctor or dentist knows of the peculiar intimacy that happens with the person examining or treating you. They're allowed into this deeply personal cocoon of space that strangers are banned from. I love how Zelia gives in a little to let that space become more special, and Cy rejects her offering to break the ice. Again--jerk! I also like how he's hiding behind the tattoos. Over the course of the novel, we will see more and more of him without the tattoos, a metaphor for him dropping his guard and coming to terms with his own problems.
My belly involuntarily quivers when he touches me. He hovers so close, I can smell him. Unlike the boys at school, there is no rancid boy/sock odor. It's something else. Smoky, but not awful like illegal cigarettes. It's earthier, better. I wonder if Dyl has ever downloaded a scent like this--
Ah, nothing like hormones taking their toll on an unsuspecting teen girl! I like how contemporary technology (downloadable perfumes and scents) weave into her normal thinking. It helps you remember that no, this is not like today. And at the same time, physical attraction is universal, no matter what century you're living in.
Learn more about the book and author at Lydia Kang's website, blog, Facebook page and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue