Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bad Girls in Love

So I guess after that orgy of book posting last week, I got distracted again. I get distracted easi--ooh, shiny thing! Anyway, here's the tale of a chica with the focus of a buzzsaw.

Book: Bad Girls in Love
Author: Cynthia Voigt
Published: 2002

Best friends Mikey and Margalo are Bad Girls, and proud of it. Oh, they don’t drink, smoke, or engage in juvenile delinquency. God, no, that’s so predictable. No, they’re Bad Girls because they act, think, and dress exactly as they please, without bowing to the opinions or preferences of teachers, parents, or classmates.

But now there’s one person whose opinion matters very much to Mikey. That’s gorgeous Shawn Macavity, the communal eighth-grade crush. Margalo knows a bad idea when she sees it, but she also knows Mikey. She can either get in the way and be mown down, or stand back and pick up the pieces. Because there’s one thing that the Big L can’t do, and that’s make a Good Girl out of a Bad one.

Much like her characters, Voigt flatly refuses to bow to the cliches of your traditional middle-school first-crush book. Mikey remains fundamentally herself even when she’s chasing after Shawn. She goes at love the same way she attacks life--damn the torpedos and full speed ahead. No matter how many times the stunningly self-involved Shawn brushes her off, she’s ready to try again. Though Margalo doesn’t have much to do in this book except color commentating, Voight tells most of the story through her eyes. Without sentiment or sensation, Voight skillfully evokes the rarified world of middle school, with all its unwritten rules, and the experience of two highly singular girls in luuuuuuuurve.

Also definitely check out the rest of the Bad Girls series: Bad Girls; Bad, Badder, Baddest; and It's Not Easy Being Bad.

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