Friday, September 11, 2009
The Blonde of the Joke by Bennett Madison
Release Date: August 25, 2009, in fact I saw it at B&N tonight, which reminded me I still had a review to write.
"There are three and only three rules for shoplifting," Francie instructed me.
From the very first day Val meets the outrageously blond Francie, she realizes that Francie has the gutsy courage and determination Val has always envied. But Francie sees something in Val too-something that Val's never noticed. "You've got that sneaky thing about you," she says. "I bet you have a dark past."
And just like that, the blonde and the brunette become partners in crime.
Thanks to Francie, Val is suddenly taking risks, taking charge, and taking what she deserves. But as the stakes get higher, Francie and Val find themselves more and more tangled in a thrilling web of love, lies, and shoplifting. Soon it becomes clear that the darkest secrets have yet to be discovered. . . .
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's a dark and twisty look at the lives of two more-average-than-you'd-like-to-think teenage girls. Val is invisible. She walks the halls of her school unnoticed by all, that is, until Francie walks through the door of her classroom. Francie is everything that Val is not and Val is drawn to her like a moth to a flame.
Francie introduces Val to her life of shoplifting and her don't care attitude. By following Francie, Val is able to escape from not only her anonymity, but also from the pressures and pain of her family life. Soon though, Val starts to see through Francie's bravado to the surprisingly lost girl inside.
Madison beautifully depicts the pieces of Francie's life slowly crumbling, while Val's life really starts to take off. This is a wonderful book about the excitement of new friendships and the heartbreak that often occurs when that first glow wears off.
It's a little bit Ghost World and a little bit Heathers, but at the same time, it's a completely original voice in the world of YA lit that I can't wait to hear more from. Most definitely recommended!!