Of All the Stupid Things

258p. 978-1-60684-034-4.
Gr 9-Up Told from alternating points of view, this story follows best friends Tara, Whitney Blaire, and Pinkie as their relationships begin to change. Each teen is dealing with personal issues: Tara fears abandonment due to a potentially cheating boyfriend and a father who left her; Whitney Blaire leads a lonely life, as her parents are never around; and Pinkie misses her dead mother tremendously. Instead of gaining strength from her friends, Tara seeks comfort in Riley, the new girl in town. Before long, she develops feelings for Riley that both shock and excite her. Whitney Blaire and Pinkie disapprove of Riley and her role in Tara's life. Will the girls' friendship survive? The revolving narration helps readers understand each character's thoughts and feelings. Diaz's descriptions of Tara's love for Riley are sweet and genuine, but Whitney Blaire's and Pinkie's reactions seem overdone, unrealistic, and, at times, out of character. The novel ends convincingly, however, with the girls still trying to understand and deal with what has happened."Sarah K. Allen, Elko Middle School, Sandston, VA" Copyright 2010 Media Source Inc.
This cloyingly sweet tale of high school friendship, heartbreak, and betrayal follows three very different friends--Tara, Pinkie, and Whitney Blaire--as each one struggles toward self-awareness. The chapters alternate among the girls' first-person perspectives, but the characters aren't all that distinct and their bond isn't convincing. Diaz's debut is notable for the myriad issues she tries to tackle.

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