Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Good Girl by Kerry Cohen Hoffmann

Title: The Good Girl
Author: Kerry Cohen Hoffmann
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 6, 2008
Date Read: March 15 - 18, 2011
Rating: 2/5 stars


Ever since her brother Mark’s accidental death, 15-year-old Lindsey has become the good girl—good daughter, good friend, good student. She places everyone’s needs before her own. Secretly, though, she’s frustrated by her family’s silence about Mark; she wishes she had the nerve to tell off one of her so-called best friends, a queen bee who wants the new boy at school for herself; and she longs to ditch obligations that prevent her from starring in the school musical. But instead of speaking her mind, Lindsey does something else . . . she starts to steal—and immediately wonders how good she really is.

All the pressure to be what others expect fuels Lindsey’s impulse to take things. Each time the risk becomes greater, and each time she thinks she’ll be caught. Wants to be caught. And then, finally, she is. . . 

Not so good. I haven't given a book only 2 stars in a while and while I feel sort of bad doing it, it's refreshing to not read a spectacular book for once. Good Girl had a good concept: overly stressed girl finally loses it and steals from her classmates and family. Bad execution. I was expecting the stealing to reach a larger level and that the most significant steal would be a large object, not just betraying the trust of her employer. I also expected bigger repercussions like police involvement or a grounding at least. I found the friendships, romantic relationships, and family scenes to be quite juvenile with one-dimensional characters. I kept waiting for the novel to gear up and reach a really dramatic point but it never really did. It was really frustrating to hear recycled "one-liners" from all the characters: the stereotypical dark sister, busy Dad, secret-but-dangerous new boy at school, etc. While I wouldn't recommend this to anyone as a novel to legit read, if you're interested in something simple and shallow to pass the time, this works. 

Recommended: Multiple Choice (Janet Tashjian), Klepto (Jenny Pollack), The Sweet Terrible Glorious Year I Truly Completely Lost It (Lisa Shanahan)

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