Friday, 1 October 2010
Review: A Bad Boy can be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone
Josie, Nicolette and Aviva are three very different girls who all meet the same bad boy with an irresistible knack for getting into their blood and under their skin. Each is sure that she can keep a cool head about him, but how much are they really in control? A critical and word-of-mouth success in the US, this is a compulsive read that opens up the questions about love and sex that every girl needs to know.
For anyone that isn't aware this is a verse novel. I really enjoy verse novels as the writing has to convey a myriad of meaning in a short space. Giving the narrative a multidimensional quality.
There are three sections of the story, each written in first person narrative but from the perspective of three different girls. The female protagonists are all completely different, from their backgrounds socially and economically to their outlooks on life, family, friendships, etc. In some ways you can see why they have made specific choices due to these factors; and why ultimately they all have different attitudes to sex. The three separate stories are wrapped together with the common thread of the 'bad boy'.
Judy Blume's Forever is incorporated into the narrative as a guide for those embarking on a physical relationship, adding depth to the storyline. I have not read this book but will certainly be hunting it out now.
The storyline shows how easy it is for teenage girls to be manipulated into a physical relationship. Showing how despicable some boys can be in their pursuit of conquests. I really came to despise the boy portrayed in this story. He prayed on the girls like a spider with a fly; charismatic and charming with a scary believability until he gets what he wants. A Jekyll and Hyde scenario if you will, with sex as the catalyst. Showing that a physical relationship is not something to be rushed into. You need to make sure you are mentally mature as well as physically in order to deal with the roller-coaster of emotions involved.
The book itself is visually powerful with the first and last pages showing the hand written notes added to the copy of Forever. Adding impact to the morale of the story. Which is RESPECT YOURSELF. Don't be coerced into doing something you aren't ready for. There are physical and mental repercussions from these decisions that need to be considered before jumping into something you might later regret.
A recommended read for the mid teen age group. A quick read, it really does make you think twice about rushing into things when you are not able to deal with the consequences.