Reviewed by Katy Oâ€™Dowd
When I first heard of this book, for some reason an image of I Dream Of Jeannie popped into my head, whereupon it morphed into a conversation between Jeannie and Samantha from Bewitched, scrunching up her cute little nose ready to wiggle it and cause magical mayhem.
And while â€˜I Am A Magical Teenage Princessâ€™ leaps off the pages within its interlinked stories with a highly 60s feel of glorious Technicolor, dreamboats and petticoats it ainâ€™t.
Rather, Luke Geddes, through some really excellent â€“ and at times exceptionally tender â€“ writing has projected our favourites from cult to classics through a rather distorted lens of the trials and triumphs of teenagedom, rejects and misfits, hopes and dreams. The stories are therefore shown through a less than rose coloured lens, to great impact.
â€˜Surfer Girlâ€™ meets the Big Kahuna with less than desirable results. The fabulous â€˜Heâ€™s A Rebelâ€™, one of the highlights of the collection, reduces James Dean and his wannabes to something less than perfect. â€˜Momâ€™s Team v. Dadâ€™s Teamâ€™ is an interesting take on morals, or lack thereof, while Geddes takes â€˜Betty And Veronicaâ€™ rather further along than you might be used to. Now Iâ€™m not a boy, but could imagine fans of comic book girls rather enjoying this one.
â€˜The Party Donâ€™t Stopâ€™ is a rather bittersweet tale of a man/child not wanting to grow up. â€˜Invasionâ€™, another of the bookâ€™s highlights, puts a spin on the devilâ€™s own music and on locking up your daughters â€“ one you probably wonâ€™t expect. â€˜Bongo The Space Apeâ€™ was particularly poignant, especially as I had read the autobiography of Tarzanâ€™s Cheeta not so long ago. Poor old Bongo, there but for the grace of money and fame went he.
â€˜Another Girl, Another Planetâ€™ centres on Stacey, the only girl in the universe, onboard a spaceship with buffoon-like teenage boys. Itâ€™s a shame she couldnâ€™t have enjoyed the stars and left behind her insecurities, but such is being a teen.
â€˜Wonder Womanâ€™s Tamponâ€™ brings the Amazon into the human realms and â€˜Habit Patternsâ€™, by far the most chilling story in the book if you ask me, is all about Barbara who is stuck in one of those instructional hygiene films from the way back when. Itâ€™s a TVâ€™s life in â€˜The Enormous Television Setâ€™ as seen through the goggle-boxâ€™s eyes, and â€˜The Modern Stone Ageâ€™ is a fabulous story based on the devolution of the Flintstones.
â€˜Defunct Girl Gangs Of North American Drive-Insâ€™ reminded me of Russ Meyerâ€™s busty beauties, â€˜Express Laneâ€™ spotlights a supermarket cashier youâ€™d probably not want to meet, and the wonderful â€˜And I Would Have Gotten Away With It If It Werenâ€™t For You Pesky Kidsâ€™ rounds this superb collection off, telling the monsterâ€™s side of the story in a Scooby and Co. tale.Â A highly enjoyable selection of stories, wonderfully told.