Friday, August 10, 2012

A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl

Every school has one. That bad boy who all the girls disdain until he turns his considerable charms in their direction. Unfortunately for Josie, Nicolette, and Aviva, TL has decided that they should be next on his list.

In A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl, author Tanya Lee Stone takes a frank look at the sexual pressure involved in three very different relationships. Our three heroines come from different worlds: Josie is a freshman, Nicolette is an outsider who uses her sexuality to feel powerful, and Aviva is a "Criss-Crosser", someone who has friends in every circle. Despite their differences, none are immune to TL's attempts to win them over.

It is only after Josie is empowered to write about her experiences in the margins of Judy Blume's Forever that she is able to give up some of the negative feelings TL has raised in her:

"Of course, in the actual Forever
the boy, Michael I think his name was, wasn't a total jerk
so in real life, my life,
it's not only the good parts I intend to hold on to
but also how totally
nothing
he made me feel.
I'm hoping that by remembering that,
as much as I'd like to forget it,
it'll help keep me from ever
letting a boy
make me feel like
nothing
again."

It's fitting that Forever plays a key role in this novel, as I can see A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl getting passed from friend to friend, much like Judy Blume's classic still is. Every year, my students discover that book and spend a few weeks secretly reading it to each other. ABBCBGFAG is steamier than Blume's novel, with more modern situations and is written in verse, so it won't intimidate struggling readers. All these factors leave me surprised that it wasn't already checked out at my local library. Too mature for my middle school classroom, teenagers will be clamoring to read this book.


2 comments:

  1. This is the first review I've read on this one! If I saw it on a store shelf I would probably have looked it over because of that awful cover but it actually sounds like one I might consider picking up.

    I can't help but notice you didn't link up your last couple of reviews. The August linky list is up if you want to add them =)

    http://bornbookish.blogspot.com/2012/08/reading-challenge-august-linky-list.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the reminder! I just moved to Colombia, so the blog has been on the backburner for a few weeks.

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