HANCOCK PARK  by Isabel Kaplan


Age Range: 14 & up
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Despite her glitzy surroundings, Los Angeles junior Becky is plagued by troubles. Her parents are divorcing, her best friend has just moved to New York and her shrink is overmedicating her. An impulse session at the salon leaves her blonde, something that gets her noticed by a trio of popular, semi-mean girls. Soon she finds herself partying, teasing the one girl who’s been nice to her and landing her first boyfriend. While Becky’s stock soars at school, her unstable home life complicates her sense of mental balance and aggravates her already-stressed nerves. A host of quirky side characters, including Becky’s grandmother, floats in and out of the novel, never staying long enough to make any impression on readers. Story lines drop in and out, as well, and the pat ending, in which Becky confronts her evil friends, is straight out of a teen movie. Neither light enough to live up to its Hollywood-style cover and flap copy nor serious enough to compete with the likes of more literary problem novels, this is a forgettable, superficial, all-around disappointment. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-124652-4
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: HarperTeen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2009