Friday, August 29, 2008

"Forever Changes"

Brendan Halpin is author of How Ya Like Me Now and Forever Changes, both novels for young adults; the novels Dear Catastrophe Waitress, Long Way Back and Donorboy; and the memoirs Losing My Faculties and It Takes a Worried Man.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his latest book, Forever Changes, and reported the following:
Page 69 of Forever Changes features an argument between Brianna, the main character, and her father. Brianna's going out to a party and her dad is annoying her by telling her to be careful.

"And don't sleep with anybody who doesn't deserve you."

"Aagh! You don't have to say that every time I go out!" Like anybody was even going to notice her, much less want to sleep with her if she was standing next to Melissa and Stephanie. They hadn't invented beer goggles powerful enough to make that happen.

"I know, I know, I just--"

"I know, you got drunk and did something dumb and you've been stuck with me ever since."

Dad's face turned red. "You know what? I tell you this stuff because I love you and I care about you. It's a really shitty thing to use that against me."

I suppose this page is pretty representative of the relationship between Brianna and her dad--they love each other a lot and occasionally drive each other nuts. Tone-wise and character-wise, it's a pretty good indication of what's in the rest of the book. What I really like about this page in relation to the novel as a whole is that it really shows the way the Brianna and her father have, despite Brianna's illness (she has cystic fibrosis), forged a loving and relatively normal relationship. Her dad doesn't tiptoe around Brianna because she's not well, and though her dad is really her anchor, Brianna doesn't hesitate to let him know when he's pissing her off.

Since the book is really concerned with how to live with the knowledge of your own mortality, I think this little fight shows that, at least in terms of this area, Brianna's already got it figured out.
Learn more about the book and author at Brendan Halpin's website and MySpace page.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue