Sunday, March 04, 2007

The True Meaning of Cleavage, by Mariah Fredericks

When the geeky sci-fi fan Jess sees her best friend Sari going psychotically in-love with David Cole, she knows there will be trouble. David is not only a senior but part of the inseparable duo of David and Thea, and there is no way that Sari will ever succeed. But when Sari and David start fooling around on the side, Jess realizes long before her friend that there is a dangerous game being played and tries to do what she can to save her friend.

I could personally relate to this story on all sorts of levels (from Jess's sci-fi obsession to the alternative school she attends). I even noted with amusement that - like E Lockhart and Nora Raleigh Baskin - she also attended my alma mater Vassar. This was, in sum, a book I wanted to like a whole lot. Most of the time I really do like it and I'll give it a strong recommendation, but it is also true that this is just a bit short of greatness. Perhaps because it is too tied to YA cliches (geeky girl rises above popular in-crowd) rather than reaching for total greatness. You'll enjoy the book and it may even become a favorite, but I wanted something a bit more.

Oh yeah, and the title is actually appropos of nothing at all (perhaps a slight reference in the middle of the novel). Perhaps it made the book sound more like chick-lit, but it seemed a bit inappropriate.

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