Ben: Having just graduated from high school, Ben is set to leave Gypsum, Nevada. It’s good timing since the gypsum mine that is the lifeblood of the area is closing, shutting the whole town down with it. Ben is lucky: he’s headed to San Diego, where he’s got a track scholarship at the University of California. But his best friends, Pete and Hog Boy, don’t have college to look forward to, so to make them happy, Ben goes with them to check out the hot chick parked on the side of Highway 447.
Lala: She and her Gypsy family earn money by telling fortunes. Some customers choose Tarot cards; others have their palms read. The thousands of people attending the nearby Burning Man festival spend lots of cash–especially as Lala gives uncanny readings. But lately Lala’s been questioning whether there might be more to life than her upcoming arranged marriage. And the day she reads Ben’s cards is the day that everything changes for her. . . and for him.
Could tarot cards predict an outcome of a situation with accuracy?
Lala knows the secrets to be a good fortune teller. When she gives readings, she knows exactly what to say and where to look for clues to lure her customers. With only weeks before her arranged marriage, Lala questions whether or not her fate is to be governed by the spiritual traditions of her people. Could she find her answer?
I like that Lala is inquisitive. Maybe some may see her as selfish and irresponsible, I personally find her sensible, shrewd and courageous. I guess there is no easy answer when it comes to following or breaking away from tradition but I like that we get to see a version of what life may look like through the consequences that Lala faces. Do I agree with every choice that she makes? No, but I respect the decision that she chooses to commit. At the same time, I must admit some of her action are a bit too bold for my liking. I guess what I’m not too comfortable with is the way she kinda drags Ben into her mess. And while their paths seem to intertwine, I don’t think Ben deserves to suffer because of her drama.
In the story, Ben seems to be among the rare few who dedicate their energy to work extremely hard to change their lives for the better. I guess I can understand why he seems so upset and angry about the many things that are crashing and falling apart, but seriously I don’t think he is paying attention to all the blessings that are in disguise. I honestly wouldn’t know how I’d act if I were in his position but I think I’d rather spend time with family members than with Lala if I were him.
Overall, I’d say this is a story that is a little outside of my comfort zone. While I quite like the setting of this story, everything does seem to take on a gloomy feel for the most part. I’m just glad that not all characters suffer from despondency. Ben’s little brother is a ray of sunshine and I like that he seems wise and intelligent for his age.
I don’t know if this may be something that you’d be interested but I’m including the card illustration of the reading that Lala gives Ben here. (Note: “The Lovers” card depicts a pair of nude couple. Do not click if you are uncomfortable with tarot cards.)
P.S. Please respect the copyright of tarot artist and do not copy or distribute the image unless you’ve obtained permission.
P.P.S. I’m going to take a break from blogging and will be back in the first week of June. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll visit your blog when I’m back.