I Am A Magical Teenage Princess by Luke Geddes. Book review

I AM A MAGICAL TEENAGE PRINCESS by Luke Geddes, Chômu Press, p/b, £11.00, www.chomupress.com

Reviewed by Katy O’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 ‘I Am A Magical Teenage Princess’ leaps off the pages within its interlinked stories with a highly 60s feel of glorious Technicolor, dreamboats and petticoats it ain’t.

Rather, Luke Geddes, through some really excellent – and at times exceptionally tender – 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.

‘Surfer Girl’ meets the Big Kahuna with less than desirable results. The fabulous ‘He’s A Rebel’, one of the highlights of the collection, reduces James Dean and his wannabes to something less than perfect. ‘Mom’s Team v. Dad’s Team’ is an interesting take on morals, or lack thereof, while Geddes takes ‘Betty And Veronica’ rather further along than you might be used to. Now I’m not a boy, but could imagine fans of comic book girls rather enjoying this one.

‘The Party Don’t Stop’ is a rather bittersweet tale of a man/child not wanting to grow up. ‘Invasion’, another of the book’s highlights, puts a spin on the devil’s own music and on locking up your daughters – one you probably won’t expect. ‘Bongo The Space Ape’ was particularly poignant, especially as I had read the autobiography of Tarzan’s Cheeta not so long ago. Poor old Bongo, there but for the grace of money and fame went he.

‘Another Girl, Another Planet’ centres on Stacey, the only girl in the universe, onboard a spaceship with buffoon-like teenage boys. It’s a shame she couldn’t have enjoyed the stars and left behind her insecurities, but such is being a teen.

‘Wonder Woman’s Tampon’ brings the Amazon into the human realms and ‘Habit Patterns’, 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. It’s a TV’s life in ‘The Enormous Television Set’ as seen through the goggle-box’s eyes, and ‘The Modern Stone Age’ is a fabulous story based on the devolution of the Flintstones.

‘Defunct Girl Gangs Of North American Drive-Ins’ reminded me of Russ Meyer’s busty beauties, ‘Express Lane’ spotlights a supermarket cashier you’d probably not want to meet, and the wonderful ‘And I Would Have Gotten Away With It If It Weren’t For You Pesky Kids’ rounds this superb collection off, telling the monster’s side of the story in a Scooby and Co. tale.  A highly enjoyable selection of stories, wonderfully told.