Recently, I talked about adolescent (or YA) books I enjoyed, and I promised to tell you about a few I hated. Then I started thinking about it, and I didn't actually hate any of the books I read, I either just didn't like them very much.*
In fact, the only books I truly and honestly despise are ones by Jack Weyland. Not because the writing is mediocre (though it is,) but because each and every book is filled with Mormon-Myth Non-Truths parading around as doctrine, and filling young impressionable minds with terrible ideas about what it means to be a Mormon, or a Mormon woman.
How do I know this? I will tell you. When I was 12, my English teacher caught me reading Angela's Ashes in class. She reported me to my mother, who in turn found herself in the predicament of finding her voracious reader child suitable reading material. (Angela's Ashes is not suitable.) She found Jack Weyland.
Now, before you think about criticizing my Mom, it is important to note that she didn't intend to give me false doctrine masquerading as literature. She just went to Deseret Book, asked the nice lady for some recommendations for her 12 year old daughter, and went on her merry way.
Furthermore, she also provided me with lots of excellent YA literature, which I still treasure.
Anyway, So I ended up reading a lot of Jack Weyland in my youth. A LOT. Most of them had titles like Mandy, Jessica, Taylor, Nicole, Charly (of course,) Dawn, Rebbecca, Debra and Michelle, Every 1980's Girl Name You Can Think Of, and even one called Stephanie. Stephanie was about a girl who dares to try and have a newscaster career, and feel attracted to a non-member, and is subsequently burned in a freak ramen-cooking accident that leaves her disfigured but humbled. Until a return missionary dumps his conceited and unchaste brunette girlfriend for her. But don't worry, her mom and friends made sure to curl her blonde hair, and give her lots of make-up tips, so that she wasn't too ugly and therefore deserving of a husband.
Anyway, I "learned"a lot about life and Mormonism According to Weyland thanks to Jack. Including, but not limited, to the following tidbits of wonder:
1. Blonde girls are righteous. Brunettes are slutty. (Half of all Weyland Novels.)
2. If you sleep with a man before marriage, you can repent, and get married in the temple, but ONLY to a convert who has not served a mission. The atonement only covers so much, people! (Debra and Michelle.)
3. If you are a woman, and trying to pursue a career, SOMETHING BAD WILL HAPPEN TO YOU. Your marriage will fail, you will get burned, or you will sleep with a guy before getting married and then have to marry a convert. (Stephanie, Sam, Charly.)
4. Converts are not as good as born-in-the-faith Mormons. Obviously. (Brittany(?) Stephanie, Charly,)
5. Potentially Dangerous Girl Careers include selling make-up or dresses, or elementary education. These are fine when engaged or first married, but once you get pregnant (hopefully right away,) YOU MUST STOP. SEE NUMBER 3.
6. Girls are horny she-devils who like to get drunk and be bad influences on righteous young men. They should be avoided by return missionaries, and left for those nasty converts not smart enough to be born Mormon. (I am pretty sure this is from Brittany, as well as several others.)
7. Similarly, all non-Mormon boys are mini Anti-Christs bent on leading chaste young blonde Mormon girls astray.
I was recently explaining this concept to my friend, who remained skeptical about the crappiness of everything Jack Weyland. I briefly thought that I may have judged them too harshly (wouldn't be the first time,) until I was lent a copy of Sam by a well-meaning neighbor.
I skimmed the copy for a few minutes, before hiding it under a pile of phonebooks. I have a problem where I have to finish every book I start, but I knew if finished Sam I would kill myself with a dull spork.
I think the part where the wife pleads with her estranged husband to "Use your Priesthood to tell me what to do, I don't want to make decisions anymore, since my stubborness has clearly ruined our marriage," and he responds by telling her she "must quit her job and have his babies, because her working is causing God to curse his business" sent me into a 3 day long rage cured only by West Wing and copious amounts of chocolate.
Anyway, the moral of the story is this. Angela's Ashes is not appropriate for 12 year olds. Neither is any Jack Weyland book. Ever.
*I will talk about those other books, but I started talking about Jack Weyland and just couldn't stop. I clearly have deeply rooted issues, and thank all of you who read through this for participating in this session of e-therapy. I think we have achieved a major break-through today.
Update: Apparently the book I thought was called Stephanie is really called Emily. Stephanie is about one of those heathen girls who is addicted to diet coke, I mean, drugs.