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DEEP IN THE HEART OF HIGH SCHOOL by Veronica Goldbach

DEEP IN THE HEART OF HIGH SCHOOL

By Veronica Goldbach

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: May 7th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-374-32330-1
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants meets marching band, with largely winning results. Each of the easily recognizable archetypes is introduced in very broad strokes: Vanna is the displaced popular girl, new to San Antonio following her parents’ divorce; Fatima is the mathematically gifted Latina fixated on her weight; Olivia is the shy, dutiful daughter quietly grieving her father. Membership in their disadvantaged-but-proud high school’s marching band draws the freshman musicians together as they support each other through the crises essential to teen chick lit: boys both faithless and worthy, body issues and family conflicts. Goldbach picks up the pace and rounds out her characters at the midpoint, giving her appealing leads and their corresponding supporting characters the three dimensions they deserve. A few details are jarring—why is Fatima’s love interest a fan of a fake superhero, while Vanna loves Buffy the Vampire Slayer?—but the relationships and details of life in San Antonio’s lower–middle-class neighborhoods ring true. Not essential, but enjoyable, and notable for its Texas milieu. (Fiction. 12 & up)