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Is Winter the Name of Your New Girlfriend?

Erin reviews George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones, a classic coming-of-age novel about sibling rivalry, crappy vacations and losing your virginity.

Is Winter the Name of Your New Girlfriend?

Book Report for A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Cover Story: Yikes
BFF Charm: It Depends
Swoonworthy Scale: 0 . . . or 10
Talky Talk: 2 Legit 2 Quit
Bonus Factors: Coolest Band Ever, Awesome Uncle Award
(Anti)Bonus Factor: Flowers in the Attic
Relationship Status: A Frothy, Fun First Date

Cover Story: Yikes

Talk about a publisher not knowing who their audience is, am I right?  I mean, I would totally pass this up in the YA section of the bookstore, because hello, a sword?  What is this, a book about Dungeons and Dragons?  I have a rep to protect, publishers!  You can't go around sticking Valyrian steel swords on the covers of books about Doing It for the first time.  A boy might try to read this!

The Deal:

Westeros High School is chock FULL of drama, y'all.  You know how sometimes when you're from a small town, everyone ends up knowing your business and getting overly invested with your life?  Picture that but, like, with dragons and stuff.  Check it:

Handsome Robb Stark should be the Big Man on Campus, what with his flowing curly locks and super-cute direwolf puppy, but senior year is just NOT working out the way he'd like it to.  First of all, his half-brother, Jon, is way more popular than him, even though he refuses to parlay that popularity to get the girls.  His younger brother, Brandon, is a total pain in the ass.  And to top it all off, Robb's dad totally ditched his family to go on an extended dude's vacation with his creepy college roommate, and didn't even invite Robb along!  Now Robb is stuck at home on boring old Winterfell Lane, mowing the lawn and listening to his mom's complaints.  The only person that Robb has to hang out with is his neighbor Theon, and Theon has been acting super jerky lately.

But Robb still has it better than his younger sister Arya, who was dragged along on the dude's vacation, much to her disdain.  Arya doesn't want to hang around with her dad's gross college roommate and his awful family!  She just wants to play field hockey and listen to Tegan and Sara!  And even though her dad is cool with her sexuality, nobody else is, and Aria constantly has to dodge her babysitter's requests to play dress up.  The only person who understands Arya is her dance teacher Syrio, and he is obsessed with cats.

Arya's older sister Sansa is the most popular junior varsity cheerleader at Westeros High School, but she's totally unlucky in love.  Sansa has a huge crush on the Prom King, Joffrey, but just isn't so sure that he loves her back.  Sometimes he's super nice to her and they kiss behind the bleachers, but other times he has her dog killed.  Plus, his mom is totally overbearing, and is making Sansa's life miserable.  And if that weren't bad enough, Sansa still hasn't had her first period, even though all the other girls on the cheerleading squad are always talking about their PMS.  How will Joffrey ever see her as potential girflfriend material if she can't even reach puberty correctly?

As for Dany, the smart and hot new girl, she doesn't have boy troubles - she's got a guy that her family loves and who treats Dany like a queen.  But she's just not sure she's ready to go all the way with Drogo- what if he doesn't respect her in the morning?  What if dumps her for one of the girls who is always hanging around his band, The Dothrakis?  And why is Dany's algebra teacher Mr Jorah staring at her boobs so often?

Can any of these crazy kids figure out the pains of growing up?  Or is Westeros High School doomed to be an endless war of cliques and self-doubt?

BFF Charm: It Depends

Since this book is an ensemble drama, it stands to reason that I LOVED some of the characters and hated others.  Like Joffrey, for example - what does Sansa even see in him?  He's short, he's rude and his best friend, a guy named Sandy who is constantly wearing a dirty "Who Let The Dogs Out" tshirt, is the biggest bully on campus.  Joffrey has NO REDEEMING QUALITIES, Sansa!  Why can't you date that nice college freshman, Loras Tyrell?  (Except, I hear he isn't so into the girls.)

In fact, all the boys in the book kind of suck.  I mean, Robb is totally boring, Jon is a giant emo whiner, and Theon is way too interested in Call of Duty to be my BFF.  Only Drogo, with his amazingly long hair and killer licks on the guitar, is worthy of being my BFF . . . but then I might be stuck in the Friend Zone with him, and that would NEVER do.

But the girls?  The girls are AWESOME.  I mean, Sansa is totally spoiled,  but she has all this secret pain, y'all!!  And she's got a fierce inner core that makes her the perfect big sis to Arya, the cutest budding lesbian in Westeros.  And Dany?  Well, Dany just kicks ass, y'all.  I mean, it could have been totally hard for her, going to a place where she knows no one, but she totally owns her social scene!

Swoonworthy Scale: 0 . . . or 10

Sansa, WHAT, WHAT, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?  Can't you see that Joff is TOTALLY not worthy of your time?  He's such a dick!  WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO GET AT HIM, GIRL?  Did you even see how he picked on that poor home ec dweeb, Mycah?  STOP WRITING MRS SANSA BARATHEON ON YOUR TRAPPER KEEPER, GIRL.

But Dany and Drogo?  HOT HOT HOT.  I mean, hello, he takes her horseback riding and then they have sex for The First Time under the stars!  SWOON CITY.

Talky Talk: 2 Legit 2 Quit

George R.R. Martin is NOT fooling around, y'all.  He writes from everyone's perspective, so even though you might find yourself hating them as characters, their POV soon sways you to their side.  Plus, he's managed to turn a book about first love, Going All The Way, and daddy issues into something EPIC.

Bonus Factor: Craziest Band Evs

Forget Motley Crue and their snorting lines of ants because they were too high to find the cocaine.  The Dothrakis are TOTALLY the craziest band in history.  I mean, Qotho, the drummer?  He totally eats a horse ON STAGE.  And Cohollo, the bassist, sleeps with ALL the Dothraki groupies that flock around the Vaes Dothrak club.  I wouldn't be surprised if one of them set a bathtub on fire like Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopez.

Bonus Factor: Awesome Uncle Award

We've never given out an Awesome Uncle Award before, but Joffrey's super cool uncle Tyrion totally deserves one!  He's totally inappropriate and awesome, and doesn't put up with shit from his spoiled, selfish nephew.  Tyrion for President!

Anti-Bonus Factor: Flowers in the Attic

Gross, y'all.  The PTA President, Mrs Lannister-Baratheon, TOTALLY wants to bone her twin brother Jamie.  In an actual attic!  How gross is that?

Casting Call:

There is no way they could turn this book into a movie.  It'd be like 13 hours along and rated Nc-17, on account of how naked Dany is all the time.  Plus, I mean, no one could play Joffrey - can you imagine how it would typecast their career?

Relationship Status: A Fun, Frothy First Date

Hey book, what are you doing later on?  Wanna grab some ice cream and hold hands at the mall?  Because book, you're everything that the 14 year old version of me could want.  You have sooo many cute boys and kickass girls!  Plus, you're always talking about food and fashion, like what colors the different cliques wear and how they're always eating roasted onions and stuff?  YUM.  

Our first date went as swimmingly as a salt wife thrown overboard the Sea Bitch!  I can't wait for our next date - just promise me that Joffrey loses the Prom King election in the next book?  Please?

Erin Callahan's photo About the Author: Erin is loud, foul-mouthed, an unrepentant lover of trashy movies and believes that champagne should be an every day drink. When she isn't drowning in a sea of engineers for whom Dilbert is still uproariously funny, she's writing about books, tv, the cult of VC Andrews and more.
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