Friday, July 14, 2006

Good Girls

Audrey has always been a good girl. Not super prissy or nerdy. She's got friends, she's had boyfriends, she gets stellar marks. She's never had a "reputation". Not like that slutty Pam Markovitz. Everyone knows what she has done.

Luke DeSalvio and Audrey have been hooking up at parties since the end of the summer. The Luke DeSalvio. Audrey's best friend, Ash, has been telling her not to get too attached - that Luke's a player. Ash should know. She got burned by her ex. Ash is always saying that girls should be more like boys. Just hook up - no feelings.

It's Hallowe'en and Audrey has decided that she is not going to be with Luke anymore. He doesn't even talk to her in the halls at school. Just a cursory "hey". But Luke looks so good, and Audrey is not sure what comes over her when he is around. It's like her body has a mind of its own. So one last hook up. Who will know? Audrey's in charge. She decides what they will do.

Unfortunately, someone else does know. Someone takes a picture of Audrey and Luke. Audrey's signature waist length blonde hair at Luke's naked torso. Someone emails that picture all over school. Even to Audrey's dad's work.

Who would do this? And why? How will Audrey cope?

Laura Ruby has created characters with such authenticity, I feel as though I know them. My heart ached for Audrey, and I admired her strength. I was pissed off at Chilly, proud of Ash, and hoping that Luke wouldn't be an arse. I feel like I know these kids.

I like, too, that Audrey's family is "every family". Church going (but not fanatical), working parents of the middle class variety, a good kid with good grades. It doesn't take extraordinary circumstances for your kids to start having sex!

What an amazing time to have to grow up when you know that stuff like this happens. When I was a teen, it was just a matter of he said she said. Nobody was carrying around a Kodak 110 camera, running to a photomat to get them developed, paying for prints and distributing! Ruby gets the flavour of the technology, slang, blogginess, and double standard of teen life. There is sex, but there it is. It's not simply is happening. It's what teens do. Not all teens, but some.

I LOVE this book.

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