Tuesday, June 9, 2009

YA Humor
Margaret K. McElderry Books
ISBN# 1-4169-5889-4
320 pages
HARDCOVER—Available June 2, 2009

Rating: 5 Enchantments

Gothling, Annie in RL (real life), is suffering because she lost her boyfriend to her best friend. Or her newly former best friend.
Big J is a fickle guy who moves from relationship to relationship. He does have skills with computers, the internet and writes poetry.

Gothling decides that all boys are alike and she wants to share her cruelly won knowledge with her two friends Ms. T and bliss4u. She tries to convince both Ms. T and bliss4u that their boyfriends would easily cheat on them too and makes a bet with them that if they were to pretend to go away for a while and then create new internet identities the boys would soon forget about their promises and fall for their new masks. Gothling asks for Big J’s help in setting up a chat room and drawing BoBoy and chessman into the trap.

I really enjoyed this book because it was funny and reminded me of the Shakespeare comedys. The unique format was what allowed me to believe that two girls could fool their boyfriends best friend about who they are. The dialogue was great and I enjoyed the malapropisms. It did take me a while to get used to the chat and IM format. The author very skillfully inserted description in the chat dialogue. The characters feel real but it is important to remember that the person behind the internet ID could be any age, any gender and from anywhere, and M. Spooner reminds the reader of that a few times. Gothling remains true to her character to the end with her pessimism and biting sense of humor. She does grow also but I won’t spoil the ending for you. The cover is very attractive and I had to fight off my daughter and several of the teens at our teen center because they wanted a look at the book. My favorite part is when Big J changes his id to Alfonso and starts falling for Gothling. She thinks he is kidding at first then starts to get interested and asks him why he never wrote a poem for her. At one point she asks him if he thinks she is a potted plant. It is funny because at the same time as she is trying to get him to write her a poem, she is still suspicious about why he is being ‘nice’ to bliss4u and Ms. T. She asks if she should come by and pound some sense into him. When she finds out that BoBoy and chessman blackmailed him into being nice by threatening to quit the chatroom she says that is totally out of line. This seems a little hypocritical since she essentially tricked the girls into their part of the chatroom but she doesn’t see the irony.

The author, M. Spooner IMs from Logan, Utah and can be reached at www.mspooner.net

Kathy Johnson
June 2009

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