Sometimes I’m surprised by how books of seemingly different themes fit together, and this week is the perfect example.
Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond is a new take on Lois Lane and Superman. Clark Kent/Superman isn’t a huge part of the story, but he’s definitely in it, masquerading as Smallville Guy, an online friend. Lois and her family have moved (yet again) to a new community, and she lands a job as a reporter for The Daily Planet’s teen website. After witnessing what she thinks is bullying, she finds herself in the middle of something sinister at school, and in trying to help a new friend, becomes a target for something larger and even more evil.
Diary of a Waitress by Carolyn Meyer recreates the life a “Harvey Girl,” recruited to work in restaurants operated near train stations across the Midwest and Southwest in the 1920s. Kitty Evans leaves her family and hometown and dreams of someday being a journalist. In the meantime, she works hard to meet the Harvey Girls’ very precise standards, makes friends with other girls from very different backgrounds, and meets few local boys, too.
These books do not even come close to sharing a time period. The characters’ daily lives are vastly different. And yet. Both share young women who dream of becoming journalists. Both are up against frustrating and sometimes ridiculous restrictions put on them by others. Both sympathize with the underdogs of the world and try to do things to make things better for someone else. Both are spunky, likeable characters who ultimately make their choices and stick by them, good or bad. Lois and Kitty might be interested in Smallville Guy or Gus, but they’re not about to wait around for something really wonderful to happen in their lives. They’ll jump right in with both feet.
Read one after the other and you’ll start to see the symmetry there, unexpected but definitely not unwelcome. And kind of wonderful.