Review -Cecil Castellucci is an author that had only recently bleeped on the Persnickety Snark radar via the fantastic Beige. Queen of Cool falls into a trio of novels that Castelucci fondly calls her LA Trilogy though the books are independent of one another bar setting and girls realising they aren’t who they thought they were.
Castellucci is an author that is easy to gravitate and attach yourself to. She’s brilliant at telling contemporary fish-out-of-water teen tales. Considerably shorter than Beige, Queen of Cool tells Libby’s story. She’s one of those popular girls who is bored out of her vacant little brain. It’s not surprising that she’s bored when she’s apparently using 0.01% of her brain capacity to get her fellow students to follow stupid crazes ( e.g. pencil day, pyjamas day) just to inspire some spark in her life. So with little enthusiasm, Libby joins the Zoo’s intern program and is forced to spend time with Tina (a dwarf), Shelton (acne sufferer) and a myriad of exotic animals.
Unfortunately this small tome is a little forced. The “new” friends are at the extremes of teen society and Libby’s evolution comes across a little forced and simple. The conclusion of the book sees Libby about to make the jump to actually trying in her life. In a way this book is all about those signposts we have in life that change is necessary. Unfortunately there were a few too many signposts and not enough self-awareness in the character for me. Had this book been longer and contained more development with the secondary characters floating around it would have been more than a surface read.
Format: Paperback, 176 pages
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
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