Thursday, May 26, 2016
Girls On Fire by Robin Wasserman
You remember teenage friendships. That fierce cleaving to another person, the two of you against the world, united against anyone or anything that would dampen your dreams or try to make the two of you ordinary. That's how it was when Lacey and Dex found each other.
Dex, who everyone else knew as Hannah Dexter, was the ignored girl. Her parents were on the fringes of the social life in their small town, but somehow Hannah was the one always left out, always made fun of when someone actually noticed her. She drifted through school trying to be invisible. She was the good girl at home although her parents wanted her to be popular.
Lacey was the rebel. Raised by a single mom who was always working or out with various boyfriends, she grew up doing whatever she wanted. She hung out with undesirable boys, drank and did drugs, and learned about sex way too early. When her mom finds and marries a born-again Christian with a mean streak and has a baby with him, Lacey is uprooted and moved to small town Battle Creek, Michigan.
Dex can't believe it when Lacey talks to her in the bathroom one day after a brutal encounter with the queen bee of their high school. It's even more unbelievable when she takes her out in her car and they start to learn about each other. Soon, it is them against the world and Dex learns about life and what is real. There is nothing but Lacey and the united front the two of them present to the world. But fairy tales aren't real and soon hidden secrets start to crack the foundation of their friendship. How far will one go to continue to live in the exclusive world of the other?
Robin Wasserman has written a fierce, raw novel that will strike an instant chord in all those who grew up on the fringes. The fringes of high school popularity, of boys and parties and being desired. Who wake up with white-hot anger growling right beneath the surface as they go through the halls of their school, who pretend it doesn't matter and pretend they are normal for their parents and teachers. Who if they are lucky emerge on the other side and go out into life and wrest from it what they want. Who if they are unlucky fall deeper into dependence on the other person in their world and let that dependence take them down into actions they would never have done alone. This book is recommended for young adult readers and for mothers raising daughters.