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The Halo

April 10, 2015

Bettina von Hutten fucks me up. I’m not sure if I really like her at all. She’s an author who’s not afraid to let things end badly, and usually I avoid authors like that. I mean, I can very easily be unhappy by myself. I don’t need anyone’s help. But I bought Pam Decides at a library book sale because it was cheap and I liked the cover. And then I read Pam, because I don’t like reading sequels first, and mostly I liked it. And then I read Pam Decides and felt pretty good about the world in general, because when von Hutten does decide on a happy ending, she makes it count.

I’ve just finished reading The Halo, and I think I understand now. Von Hutten delights in situations where there’s no right answer, and she’s good at them. If you want to wallow in painful emotional situations, go no further. Or, alternatively, stop getting emotionally involved in books; it’s a mistake.

I don’t know if I liked Brigit Mead. I did some of the time, I guess. I was completely absorbed in her personality, at least. The book goes like this:

“Oh, no, she’s going to marry the wrong person and be miserable.”

“Tommy is the best; I want a book about Tommy.”

“Oh, no, she’s going to fall in love with her future father-in-law.”

“Oh, no.”

Tommy.”

“Oh, no, she’s making it worse.”

“Oh, no.”

Bettina von Hutten knows how to push my buttons, is the thing, and I’m very sorry that rhymed. I mean, she mostly does it by making everything feel things so intensely that they frequently make themselves ill, but. There’s a trick to that, you know? I couldn’t put The Halo down.

Tommy does get his own book, as it turns out. I’m pretty apprehensive.

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