Author: Ted Michael
it’s been a long time since everyone got into such an uproar over Judy
Blume’s book “Forever.” Back then, it was considered too racy to even
place into the YA section of the local library. That seems almost
comical now when you realize that the YA’s of today are far more
suggestive than anything Ms. Blume ever wrote.
this book, we meet up with the guy that no girl can stand. He is a
senior in high school named Henry who loves sleeping with girls.
Frankly, in his eyes, they are good for one thing and one thing only –
and that’s not washing his car. He and his two moronic friends – Duke
and Nigel – make it a point to crash Sweet Sixteen parties; make up fake
names to pass themselves off as someone “better” (and also to make sure
that no girl can ever find them again once they’ve used her and
disappeared); and, spend the rest of their time trying to find a way to
drink while swapping sick jokes about each other’s ‘mama.’ Henry is a
handsome player who has upset many a girl and, from the very first page,
readers will absolutely despise this guy.
at one Sweet Sixteen party the boys’ crash, Henry slams into a girl by
the name of Garrett and his emotions begin to haunt him like there’s no
tomorrow. This is the one. This is the girl he could give his whole
ridiculous bachelorhood up for in a second and a half, and that reality
scares him to death. When he runs into her at school – in HIS school –
the fear practically paralyzes him.
Garrett is a
young woman who is just starting this snooty school. Her father and
mother have moved from Chicago so that her father can head up the film
department at Columbia. So, whether Garrett likes it or not, she’s been
thrust into a world where she has no friends and, unfortunately, has
been spotted by “The J Squad.” The J Squad is made up of those
girls. We all had them in high school. They’re the girls who are the
hottest, coolest, and most popular in the whole school – and certainly
the meanest. They adhere themselves to Garrett and tell her that if she
can get Henry (the school lothario) to ask her out on a date and then
dump him flat in front of the cameras that will be filming at the next
Sweet Sixteen party in town, than Garrett can become one of them. Now,
Garrett likes Henry, but he’s been snubbing her since she started
school – so she accepts the challenge and throws herself into getting
Henry to become her boyfriend so she can humiliate him.
would say that this book is horrible because the characters show
absolutely no emotion, heart, loyalty, or conscious of any kind. But
THAT’S what makes a great writer! The writer had me feeling all kinds
of unflattering emotions for these little…well…people, and I wanted
nothing more than to find them and wipe them out for being nasty.
But…while telling the story the author also gave the characters reasons –
real reasons why they were acting as they were, and then
everything came into perspective. You know who else was very good at
that? John Hughes – the master of teenage storytelling. My
congratulations definitely go out to the author and I will look forward
to his next book.