Party Girl

Lynne Ewing, Author Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers $16 (144p) ISBN 978-0-679-89285-4
What begins as a fascinating first-person account of life through the eyes of a female L.A. gang member rapidly unravels due to undeveloped characters and a dangling story line. Kata and Ana have been inseparable since fourth grade. Now 14, the two routinely escape from their homes at night to enter a world of sensual dance contests in abandoned warehouses as a team called ""Outrageous Chaos."" One night, after taking the top prize, the pair sneak across turf lines and Ana is killed by a rival gang. Now the gang is after Kata. While Ewing (Drive-By) effectively draws readers into the teenagers' world, she often breaks with Kata's narrative to fill in the facts (""Some [girls] even tried to get pregnant... so they could face out, quit the gang life and collect their welfare""). Kata's relationships with other characters go unexplored (e.g., an explanation for Kata's strange tie to Pocho, Ana's boyfriend, at the end of the book seems tacked on; Kata's alliance with her gang is never developed). And the visions that earn her the name ""Dreamer"" are poorly integrated into the novel. But perhaps of most concern is Kata's pronouncement, ""I quit the life,"" with no explanation of how she will dodge Ana's killers, who are still in pursuit of her. Ages 14-up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/03/1998
Release date: 08/01/1998
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-17373-5
Prebound-Glued - 128 pages - 978-0-613-23023-0
Open Ebook - 69 pages - 978-0-307-47775-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 128 pages - 978-0-375-80210-2
Hardcover - 110 pages - 978-0-679-99285-1
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