Teen melodrama that absolutely oozes angst.
Aggie Winchester, a junior at rural St. Davis High, is one of precisely two goth girls in her entire community. She and her best friend Sylvia spend their time skipping school, collecting piercings and getting into trouble with boys who are no good for them—boys who only want to see them in the dark, preferably in bed, and who will blatantly ignore them in the light of day. Then, on the same day, Sylvia discovers she’s pregnant and Aggie learns that her mother, also her school principal, has breast cancer. Aggie and her mother have been on the outs since Aggie’s freshman year, when she earned permanent pariah status simply for being the principal’s daughter. How will the cancer affect their stagnant relationship? Will Sylvia’s pregnancy teach her about love and responsibility? These pressing questions aren’t abandoned entirely, but here the novel inexplicably veers off into much more pedestrian territory while maintaining its off-the-charts melodramatic pitch. Suddenly, pregnant goth Sylvia has become a contender for prom queen, but has someone rigged the elections? Is it Sylvia? Is it Aggie’s mom? Is it Sylvia’s new best friend Beth? At this point, readers may not care.The premise has promise, but Aggie comes off as inauthentic as the novel’s tidy resolution. (Fiction. 14 & up)