Monday, December 10, 2012

READ-A-THON! X-It by Jane George: Chapter 13-15 “In which everything changes”


Check out the previous posts of the Read-A-Thon!

Disclaimer: This book contains some descriptions of sexual nature (that only adds to the plot and characterization, if I may add).

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 13-15...

It goes kinda crazy here: After the breakdown at J.J. and X-It’s house, their relationship back in NYC seems much better (to J.J.’s excitement). She checks out art school as promised to Michael, although it ends in disaster. But when everything seems to be looking up, X-It moves out with Penny, leaving Voodoo to be J.J.’s new roommate.

My thoughts

Once again, a late post - life has been going everywhere it seems. I’ll try to update sooner for the next 3 chapters!

Anyway, back to the story. I think these 3 chapters would be what we call the “hinge” of a novel, as everything seems to turn to a new direction. Things are going amazing for J.J. and X-It in Chapter 13 – I can’t forget that flashback when she calls them the Peter Pan and Tinkerbelle of Never Never Manhattan – that even after the catastrophe at art school in Chapter 14 can’t dampen the mood of the story. And then comes Chapter 15.

X-It’s “betrayal” must have struck J.J. hard. He’s her roommate, her best friend, her confidante, her everything. Gosh, he’s the person she loves so much she would give her all to see him succeed. She loves him - how can he do this to her?

As long as I have him to love, to urge on to greatness, I will keep painting mannequins and paying the rent.

This comment is even more resonant when a few pages later, J.J. is forced to face what she wants and what she thinks she wants while talking to Bela, a mannequin sculptor:

"You have hands of an artist, sensitive, but you are not an artist, no?"
"I want to be."
"Is mannequin painter the kind of artist you want to be?"

And then, even when she decides to check out art school:

I already increased my salary for the week by hand modeling, so I’m not worried.


The not-so-coincidental repetition of the phrase “mannequin painter” does make us wonder if X-It is holding her back, or rather, if she is holding herself back devoting all her life to X-It. Her first priority is to paint mannequins and pay the rent (to, if you remember, "have him to love and urge on to greatness"), not doing what is necessary for her future.

This also put X-It’s feelings for her in perspective. J.J. is so happy now that he’s interested in her – in fact, this makes her list of the two Christmas presents. But does X-It actually feel that way? The more I think, the more I find I don’t understand him. Does he not understand J.J.’s feeling? Aren't they best friends? If not, how can he be so ignorant? But if so, how can he be so cold-hearted as to sign on the lease with Penny and not talk to J.J.’s first? Or is this just some artist’ temperament?

Now that X-It’s gone, Voodoo volunteers to be J.J.’s new roommate. That creates some new questions itself: Does Voodoo care for J.J. – even love her, or is he just using her? And is he evil or not? (Since he is now living with J.J., I sure hope Michael is right, and that he is not as evil as he thinks he is.)

And most importantly, what does Crikey know about Voodoo? Why this expression?

[Crikey] looks from me to Voodoo with a strange expression riding his features, then turns and lives.

So many questions in need of answers! I can’t wait to continue reading!

Comment below on your thoughts of X-It – and of the questions I just posed!

1 comment:

  1. I loved this book! The writing is amazing. Anyway, Voodoo is such a character. It does make you wonder if he actually cares for J.J. in his own strange way. Can't wait to see what you think of the next chapters!


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