Jacqueline Wilson, Author
Jacqueline Wilson, Author . Roaring Brook $16.99 (248p) ISBN 978-1-59643-242-0
Reviewed on: 03/22/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010

Sylvie has been best friends with Carl since forever. Now entering high school, however, handsome and sensitive Carl is drifting, while insecure and late-to-develop Sylvie is still trying to convince herself that they will one day marry and live happily ever after. The ostensible division is that Carl has enrolled in a more challenging school, leaving Sylvie nearly friendless. Into this void struts Miranda, a rich, sexually sophisticated girl with moxie to burn. Carl has a new friend, too, and alert readers will figure out long before Sylvie why Carl needs some distance. As with all of Wilson's fiction, there's a lot of hand-wringing over social status. Sylvie's father is out of the picture, her mother's diminished economic status has forced her to take in a lodger, while Miranda lives in a posh home and always has cash. Though the girls carry cellphones, the narrative feels dated—more like a classic “problem novel” of the 1970s than a contemporary YA story about sexual identity. Die-hard Wilson fans will want to read this, but those who aren't familiar with her work should not start here. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)

The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!