THE BLONDE OF THE JOKE by Bennett Madison

THE BLONDE OF THE JOKE

Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The reinvention of good-girl Valentina Martinez comes in the guise of a hootchie makeover and shoplifting, all thanks to her naughty new best friend Francie Knight, who walks into class the first day of school wearing nothing but an aqua tube top and gold hot pants. Francie takes Val under her wing: She cuts and bleaches her hair, bestows on her similarly skimpy clothes, and the two hit the mall. Readers may well be dumbfounded that Val so easily slides into the life of a criminal, but Madison builds Val’s desperation for attention and friendship so convincingly that they have no choice but to go with it. The Gap, Spencer Gifts and other familiar suburban haunts all fall victim to their exploits; Madison’s snarky, near-satirical tone, chock-a-block with dozens of hilarious “oh no she didn’t!” moments, keeps the plot from getting too cautionary. What results is a ridiculous, riotous, tongue-in-cheek mad dash through the mall where everything is not as it seems and where the cheap jokes and the bounty grow like apples on trees. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-125560-1
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: HarperTeen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2008