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The Crazy Things Girls Do for Love

Review

The Crazy Things Girls Do for Love

It's back to school after Christmas vacation, and Sicilee (the queen of the popular kids) and Maya (the hipster princess) are sure that high school will be back to business as usual: irritating each other, gagging down the school lunches, and ruthlessly making fun of the Environmental Club. Even though going Green might be huge elsewhere, it ain't easy being Green in Clifton Springs, especially when the Environmental Club president is dorky Clemens Reis and its members include washed-out losers like Joy Marie Lutz.

"[Sheldon's] often snarky narration, which shifts back and forth among a handful of characters, cleverly showcases each character’s delusions, shortcomings and misperceptions..."

But in less time than it takes to cook a veggie burger, everything changes at Clifton Springs. Cody Lightfoot, the new boy in town, is nothing short of a sensation: "It would be an obvious exaggeration to say that jaws drop and breath is held, but it wouldn't be much of one." Cody is gorgeous and effortlessly cool, and, it turns out, his favorite cause is (you guessed it) the environment. Soon enough, the Environmental Club is the hottest extracurricular in town, and the two most passionate defenders of the environment are Sicilee and Maya…as long as they can sit next to Cody at the meetings.

As the two feud with each other over Cody's attentions, they start --- in spite of themselves --- to pay attention to the actual issues they claim to care so deeply about. Is it possible that there might be more in the world than the love of one perfect boy? Is it even possible that that boy might not be so perfect after all?

Dyan Sheldon, who has made a name for herself with breezy, funny, smart fiction like CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN, is back in fine form with THE CRAZY THINGS GIRLS DO FOR LOVE. Her often snarky narration, which shifts back and forth among a handful of characters, cleverly showcases each character’s delusions, shortcomings and misperceptions, not to mention their woefully short-sighted (at least at first) approach to the environment. Some might quibble that there's no way Maya and Sicilee could be quite so clueless about such timely topics as vegetarianism and global warming. Fortunately, Sheldon manages to educate her characters, including interesting factoids about the planet that just might enlighten many readers as well.

At times, especially while still setting up its characters and conflicts, it might seem that a more appropriate title for the novel would be THE CRAZY THINGS GIRLS SAY, since both Maya and Sicilee are big on talk and speculation but slow to actually act in ways that might propel the plot forward. That being said, once they’re established, both these characters, who could easily have become two-dimensional parodies, achieve remarkable depths even as they provide plenty of laughs. Going Green has never been funnier than in THE CRAZY THINGS GIRLS DO FOR LOVE.

Reviewed by Norah Piehl on December 17, 2011

The Crazy Things Girls Do for Love
by Dyan Sheldon

  • Publication Date: December 13, 2011
  • Genres: Fiction, Young Adult 12+
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick
  • ISBN-10: 0763650188
  • ISBN-13: 9780763650186