July 15, 2012

I'm afraid for teenage girls everywhere

Someone just told me that "Pretty Little Liars is officially the teenage girl Bible."  I think I just felt the earth move beneath my feet...and not in a cool way.  This book disgusted me on an elemental level.  These girls are portrayed completely unrealistically and their attitudes about themselves and life in general are so disturbing that I am literally afraid for teenage girls everywhere.  The plot centers around four girls who share a dark secret.  This much I mentioned in the last post.  What I didn't know then is that these four girls (who are very difficult to keep separate) wouldn't make one decent person if they were all melded together.  There are no morals.  There is, however, teenage drinking, drugs, sex with teachers, shoplifting, entirely too much focus on brand name clothing, and an unhealthy focus on body image (which apparently equals self worth).  The message that this book sends to young ladies is abhorrent.  I am pretty much seething in anger right now. Ugh.

I have to move on quickly so I can get this bad taste out of my mouth.  The next book is Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and it looks like it might just be the best way of accomplishing that goal.  The book's protagonist is Melinda Sordino, a high school student who stands up and speaks out (ah I see what you did there) when she calls the cops about a party (that must have been some rager).  The book sounds a lot like the premise of The Chocolate War in that it's the individual vs the community (in this case a high school).  I'm holding out some optimism that the message of this book is a bit more positive about resisting conformity and following your heart.  I'll report back here to let you know my thoughts.

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