Friday, March 30, 2007
Welcome to the world of Del Rio Bay High, the setting of Paula Chase's book So Not the Drama, the first book on my review site. Wheee.
The prologue of this book is in first person, and then the main narrative switches to third omniscient. That threw me for quite a loop, and I had to put the book down and have a few moments to let that switch sink into my brain.
Instead of the usual blonde haired/blue eyed girls ruling the school, Paula's main characters are teens of color (and this does not mean just black), varying economic backgrounds, and just as diverse in attitudes and wants as any group of teenagers. Mina is bubbly, naive, a social climber and talks a LOT. She's also extremely confident and strong-willed. Kelly is level-headed, rich, beautiful, and quiet. For the most part anyway. Just don't mess with her. Then there is Jessica, who is even more of a social-climbing suck up than Mina, although she'd NEVER admit it.
My favorite character was Jacinta (Cinny). Maybe because the physical description of her kind of reminded me of myself. She always had awesome comebacks to ole' snotty Jessica's retorts. That trait, I unfortunately did not have. Cinny has a quick temper, but also a quick loyalty. She shows a hard side, but I liked seeing the occasional bits of insecurity and vulnerability. I'd definitely want this girl on my side.
These four girls are thrown together in a sociology project regarding prejudice. They're ready to hate each other on first sight (actually, Mina and Jessica already do), but Kelly's suggestion of getting to know each other through sleepovers is intriguing and effective. The girls get insights into each other that they never would have just trudging around school day by day, and some reluctant friendships begin to form. In the midst of all the drama with the project, Mina's own little clique is falling apart. She and her best friend (who is white) are on the outs, and the reader can't help but wonder if racsim is some of the motivation for the tension, or simply jealousy. The two boys disagree (or "beef", as they say) over differing interests.
Paula's book was really long for a YA novel. However, the dialogue was fast-paced and a lot of fun. The easy use of slang and "youth speak" made it a smooth read. I'm looking forward to the sequel.
Buy it here: So Not The Drama: A Del Rio Bay Clique Novel (del Rio Bay Clique Novels)