Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Guy Next Door-Carol Culver

The Guy Next Door
Carol Culver
Berkley, May 2008, $5.99
ISBN: 9780425221365

Since her parents are divorcing, Maggie and her mother leave the McMansion and move into a small rental house. Maggie’s mom is in such a deep depression, she cannot look for a job; Maggie’s dad, a venture capitalist, is also going through hard financial times. He has cut back on expenses including perks Maggie has taken for granted, but he still pays her fees to attend exclusive Manderley Prep.

Also attending Manderley is Eric, her former next door neighbor in exclusive Monte Vista; they used to play together as kids. Now he barely notices her, but she thinks he is a hunk and is hung up on him. Her father is going to chaperone the school dance and wants his daughter to date his girlfriend’s geeky son. She aggress on the condition he buys her invisible braces. Maggie wins a scholarship to go to Hawaii for a chorus competition and her friend makes her sexy clothing. Eric notices her, but they both might get in trouble when drugs are found in Maggie’s purse; he wants to be her hero by coming to her rescue.

This breezy fun filled young adult BFF tale demonstrates that being a teen is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Teenagers constantly face moral dilemmas while observing people in authority abuse their power and break the rules; role models at their best. (not) Maggie grows through the course of the action-packed story line as she learns to be honest to herself with the decisions she makes. Carol Culver has written a dynamite BFF book.

Harriet Klausner

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