Greetings and salutations, book lovers! I’m Claire Voyante, the main character of Dream Life, Lauren Mechling’s rip-roaring detective novel (and no, it is not immodest to say that about a book you didn’t write but in which you star—I checked in one of my grandmother Kiki’s etiquette books).
When Dream Girl, the first book in the series, came out, my creator Lauren fielded questions from bloggers and journalists. Lauren is currently underground working on a secret project so I offered to step in and relief pitch. I’m taking a page from Ann Landers's book and writing an advice column. The questions came from fans of the series. The answers came from the heart.
I’m about to start high school and there’s a language requirement in ninth grade. You’re half-French, right? I’m sort of torn between studying French and Japanese. I love French fashion and I also love manga.
Tongue-Tied At The End Of Eighth Grade, Detroit
Well, have you ever come to the right source! Not only do I speak fluent French, but my father is a French professor.
Here’s the thing: French is pretty useless. Even I, a card-carrying member of a French family that travels to France every summer, don’t really need it (at least not when I'm wearing my headphones). As far as I can tell, people use French to say things about how everything in America is stupid--and always over the loooooongest sit-down dinners (the French have the drawn-out meal market cornered).
So I vote Japanese. And I don’t even like sushi.