THE ALPHABETICAL HOOKUP LIST by Phoebe MacPhee

THE ALPHABETICAL HOOKUP LIST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Three girls in deep Georgia share a dorm room and multiple aversions in MacPhee’s (as Jennifer Belle, High Maintenance, 2001, etc.) bimboesque latest contribution to MTV’s youth-directed imprint.

Jodi Stein from Long Island arrives eager-eyed for the Pollard University experience, longtime hunky, dim-bulb boyfriend in tow, though Buster instantly cheats on her. Jodi had requested a single in Maize Hall, as did the other roommates who make up her triple, Celeste Alexander, the square virgin with the hippie parents from New York, and southern punk Alison Sheppard, who doesn’t know where she fits in, though she’ll try anything once. The girls can’t stand each other, and it’s not until they’ve all been dumped, in one form or other, that they come to recognize their sympathies. Misery, drink, and loneliness propel them to fashion an alphabetical boy-kissing game as a kind of friendly competition to help empower them vis-à-vis the opposite sex. MacPhee’s technique makes use of brisk, sharp strokes of characterization bordering on caricature and dialogue that rarely lifts higher than the floor of a bar where somebody is pissing or puking. Celeste is too naïve to see that the first boy she dates is gay, then gets so drunk with Buster that she doesn’t remember losing her virginity. Ali decides to try to get in with the Lesbian Alliance, then wonders if kissing girls counts on the hook-up list. And Jodi, her heart set on rushing Kappa Kappa Gamma, gets arrested for stealing curtain rods for a Scarlett O’Hara costume. The jokes are keyed to the lowest common denominator, the writing sketchy and smug.

Pretty distasteful stuff even for readers who don’t expect much else. The first in a three-book series.

Pub Date: July 2nd, 2002
ISBN: 0-7434-4842-1
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: MTV/Pocket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2002