YOU DON'T KNOW ME, by David Klass. YA novel with a striking mirrored cover and even more striking opening page. Much of the book is an interior monologue by a bright and witty teenage boy whose verbal skills can't seem to escape from his mind and out his mouth, or save him from his horrible home life. It's borderline magic realism-- some events are clearly exaggerations by the narrator, for narrative effect or because it _felt_ like a blast from his tuba broke the conductor's baton in half-- but a few are more ambiguous.
The style is sometimes repetitive and the end is the standard "and some things improved but not everything because life's like that," but it's a gripping read and often quite funny. God, I'm glad I'm not a teenager any more.
GRAVITATION 2 and DEMON DIARY 2 continue to amuse. The former uses one of my least favorite romance tropes, the sex scene which borders on non-consensuality because everyone's doing what they think the other person wants rather than talking about what they really want. Ouch. But it rescues itself by bringing in the members of the legendary and now defunct band, Nittle Grasper. (Best Band Name Ever.)
In DD 2, new characters are introduced and we get more of Raenef's back story, which explains a lot. Incidentally, Raenef no longer looks like a ten-year-old girl. Now he looks like a thirteen-year-old girl.
CHOBITS 2, by CLAMP. Avoid the anime like the sophomoric plague it is. But I'm enjoying the manga. In an otherwise contemporary world where robots called persocoms serve as personal computers, a teenage country boy Hideki comes to Tokyo to wait a year before he can retake the college entry exams he flunked the first time. He's broke, but finds an abandoned persocom in the form of a beautiful girl. She has no programming, but he teaches her and names her Chi. Is Chi an AI? Who's that's other Chi visiting her telepathically? And what's with that strange picture book she likes so much?
There's quite a few sex jokes, but it's really about love and loneliness and identity and the relationships between people and computers.
Finally, check out this wonderful profile of John Hurt. Even if you don't know who he is. It's very funny and insightful about all sorts of strange things, including the nature of attraction to strange attractors:
"He has dark, verminous little eyes, a smirky little mouth full of nicotine-varnished teeth, and that British complexion that evokes a poached worm."http://www.salon.com/ent/feature/2004/03/18/john_hurt/index.html