June 14, 2006

Unlucky Ad Placement

There's a sort of fairytale inplausibility about Kate Brian's novel, Lucky T, that normally would have made me smile. A novel that includes romance and travel is usually a slam dunk. Instead, this novel was to me an unfortunate hodgepodge of brand names, ad placement, and a very slim storyline indeed.

Carrie Fitzgerald is lucky, lucky. Even though her parents are divorced, she has a cool dad who is a commercial pilot. She has beaucoup gifts from him, and lots of clothes from her mother who does divorce guilt very well. Carrie excels at school, socially, and is gorgeous, but she knows she owes her luck all to a t-shirt her father got her. On the day he brought it home, things began to happen. When, in a groaningly obvious accident, the tee gets shipped off to India in a clothing drive for battered women, Carrie literally runs after it. To Calcutta. Because it's her luck, after all. She's got to get it.

While virtually unsupervised, this high school sophomore cuts a bold swath through India's poorest and most crowded city, making friends, helping orphans (please, hold onto your hair, as projectile vomiting may soon occur) dispensing gifts, and overall having a swell time. She meets a hottie, she does traditional Indian dances in the street (gagging now) wearing a sari (and no one asks what tradition, or anything unpleasant and specific like that). Yay, another American girl's been to India and come away with a bindi. Can we all stop exoticizing other cultures, end this stupid commercial for American commercialism and go home, now!?

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