REBEL WITHOUT A CLUE by Holly Uyemoto

REBEL WITHOUT A CLUE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The 19-year-old Uyemoto weighs in with a first novel about despairing and druggy modern youth in California. It's that magical summer--between high-school graduation and freshman year in college--and narrator Christian Delon is hanging out in Marin County with his best buddy, Thomas Bainbridge. Christian has the usual share of affluent modern-kid troubles--Mom and Dad are estranged, with Dad spending a good deal of time with his new ""friend"" Anthony--but Thomas is really up the creek: he's just discovered he has AIDS. To make matters worse, Thomas is a well-known model and budding movie superstar, and he must keep the secret of his illness hidden. Very little else happens. Christian, who is a kind but rather passive boy, spends bis time worrying about Thomas, Mom and Dad, and his other wayward, druggy friends; eventually, he disapprovingly breaks with the charismatic Thomas when he discovers that Thomas is continuing to have sex. Uyemoto has a clumsy, curiously vague style (""Though love at Harvard in the Seventies might have meant never having to say you're sorry, it didn't really apply here, either because the aforementioned theory is limited in application to only certain species of love, or because Erich Segal was kind of a cheese as a dialogue artist""), but she writes some occasionally engaging scenes. Her book, however, seems oddly inauthentic when it comes lo its very subject matter--drugs, AIDS, disaffected youth: it makes one want to turn for verisimilitude to that old master Bret Easton Ellis.

Pub Date: Sept. 29th, 1989
Publisher: Crown