Friday, April 29, 2016

Beyond Clueless, by Linas Alsenas

Marty is starting her freshman year at a Catholic girls' school, separated from her best friend Jimmy, who's staying on in public school.  Jimmy thrives at his school, coming out (to no one's surprise) and making lots of new friends.  Marty though feels lost and confused.  She's not exactly friendless, having met a sharp tongued girl named Xiang, but she still feels socially awkward.  Her love of theater leads her to try out for the school musical and it turns out to be the way to break through her issues.  Jimmy brings his new friends over to help out and Marty herself catches the eye of a gorgeous upperclassman.  But people are acting funny around her and she can't figure out what is going on.

A fast paced friendship drama -- full of the twists and turns one expects in ninth grade.  I enjoyed Marty and her honest emotions and her snarky friend Xiang is a highlight.  The boys did less for me.  There are numerous characters here and neither Felix (the love interest), Jimmy, or Oliver (or any of the other friends) left much of an impression.  I did start to wonder where the story was heading mid way through and, while the ending does a decent job of sorting out thing, I was as clueless as Marty about what was going on in the story.  That may have been due to my inattentive reading, but the clean wrap up in the end seemed a bit of a cheat.  So, I'd call this novel great for character development, but confusing and hard to follow.

No comments: