College Admission Committees
Book Title: Seven Deadlies
Author: Gigi Levangie
Publisher: Blue Rider Press
College Admission Committees
The title of Gigi Levangie’s novel is actually Seven Deadlies.
College Admission Committees is my take on it because the fictitious Perry Gonzales wrote all seven stories for the equally fictitious Bennington Admissions Committee.
Apparently, it is quite common for colleges to ask applicants to write something about themselves in College Admission Essays. Higher education marketing tool?
Sounds like it, because students want to sell themselves to colleges of their choice, to impress admission committees, so that they can stamp SOLD, on the application form.
Perry Gonzales is the narrator in Seven Deadlies. She is fourteen. Yes. I’m a great fan of gender-bending names, so the author had my vote in the first few pages.
She is unusual in many ways. She is not one of those teenagers that periodically say: I hate my mum. She loves hers and declares that in every chapter.
Perry also loves doing homework and is good in Mathematics. That is why she is an A student at Mark Frost Academy. She also has some leftover time to make some money, babysitting teenagers.
Quite a novel idea isn’t it? Teenagers are notorious for the urge to get rid of the parental umbilical cord in order to fly away to have a slice of the pizza, called life.
Teenagers in this book are not in a hurry to leave home because they live a gilded life with their rich parents who can fix anything money can buy, including Perry’s services to nudge up their falling school grades, or grades that have never been high enough to fall.
These parents tend to be the crème de la crème of Los Angeles. Well! I’m not sure if cream is the right description. Let’s just say they have a lot of money, and live in homes that are called property.
We shall not mention the seven biblical sins because it will trigger memories about ourselves, since we all have them.
Credit Card Parenting
The book seems to be about bringing up kids. Parenting? Is that what experts call it? Fine.
My take on it is that Seven Deadlies is about parenting because the characters’ parents, expensive schools and upbringing robbed them of their formative years.
The novel is set in a part of L.A. where almost everything is what we can call arrested development, because parents don’t want to grow up.
As Perry, the narrator aptly puts it, “I’ve seen this syndrome amongst the moms at Mark Frost Academy – I called them “cement heads” (never to their frozen faces). Botox seemed to be part of their four food groups, along with Restylane, Juvederm and kale.” P. 158.
Porscha for example, is shallow because of her mother, who takes her to beauty salons for eyebrow waxing, fashion shows and shopping at Tiffany.
Timmy Turkles, another character, has eyes that look like a fly because of long hours on the couch playing video games in his screening room. His parents don’t care. They are too busy making money.
The character Connor Superbiae is perhaps the most tragic because his father’s ego reduced him to a wheelchair and exposed what his mother had been enduring for years, in a house that made the Palace of Versailles in France, look like a semi-detached.
Seven Deadlies is a funny book because the lives of the rich and famous sound ludicrous to poor people like Perry, who sees all kinds of crazy things when she goes to babysit the spoilt brats. But it is also very sad, because it doesn’t allow kids to be kids.
The author arranged the seven deadly sins into chapters but I found that one character can have three or four sins. I enjoyed that because people are generally not one dimensional. We have many sins in our make-up.
Seven Deadlies is an easy read. It flows. It keeps ticking like the New York Stock Exchange ticker tape and very hard to put down. The only flaw is that the use of brackets can be overwhelming, and they break the smooth reading.
The ending came as a surprise, a pleasant surprise because I didn’t expect it at all. That is the joy of reading I suppose, not knowing where the author is taking us.