GIRLS by Tucker Shaw


Age Range: 12 & up
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Having previously reworked Cyrano de Bergerac in Flavor of the Week (2003), Shaw again puts his stamp on high-concept YA in this retelling of Claire Boothe’s 1930 Broadway hit, The Women. Despite an all-female cast, the original play was hardly feminist. Its upper-crust, mostly parasitic characters gossip, scheme and compete viciously for the attention of men who remain offstage. Here, Shaw faithfully transports characters (even the names are the same), plot and tropes to students at an upscale boarding school in Aspen, Colo. The play doesn’t travel well. Its characters’ single-minded focus on cheating boyfriends was dated by the ’60s. The emphasis on lavishly conspicuous consumption jars in the current economic climate. The book’s primary difficulty, though, stems from narrator Peggy’s passivity. With no romantic interest of her own, her intense investment in the love affairs of others is downright creepy. Luckily, in a rare departure from the play, this Peggy is a budding chef, taken under the wing of a local restaurateur. Peggy’s menu fantasies (recipes included) and her restaurant scenes bring a welcome whiff of bracing mountain air to an otherwise tired chick-lit retread. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8109-8348-9
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2009


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