Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty

Jody Elizabeth Gehrman, Author . Dial $16.99 (255p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3247-6

In first novelist Gehrman's inventive retelling of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing , the setting is Sonoma, Calif., where Geena looks forward to a summer with her wild best friend, Amber, and prim cousin, Hero, who has just returned from boarding school. They do not automatically bond, as Geena had hoped, but when Hero and Amber become targets of a deceptive golden boy, they learn to depend on each other. There is plenty that is true to Shakespeare (including clever exchanges and a surfeit of romantic confusion), and the author has made some smart updates. The girls, for example, work together in a drive-through coffee shop; a subplot has Hero's good-girl reputation put in jeopardy when the supposed golden boy posts faked sexy pictures of her on MySpace. Readers may find the girls' revenge scheme a bit outrageous, but will root for them anyway, especially strong, skateboarding Geena, who, when her new boyfriend refuses to help, bravely tells him, “Then you're no friend of mine.” Even those unfamiliar with the Elizabethan model will enjoy this savvy remake, with its traditional ending, where everyone gets exactly what they deserve. Ages 14–up. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 04/21/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
Paperback - 255 pages - 978-0-14-241268-8
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