Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Bitch Posse by Martha O'Connor

Title: The Bitch Posse

Author: Martha O'Connor

Genre: Fiction

Summary: Three high school girls commit a single act that haunts them into their thirties. Each reacts in their own way. Each story is told.

The Take-Away: I have mixed feelings about this book. It's very "in your face," both in the writing, the actions and the personalities of Cherry, Amy and Rennie. The story is told by each, and setting flips from 2003 to 1988 continuously.

The three girls are best friends who do typical teenage girl things -- hang out, give advice about relationships, smoke, etc. But they also do the things that parents pray that they will never do: skipping school, drugs, sex and cutting. Each page reveals actions that lead into further destructive behavior. Each action pulls the three of them tighter.

Their parents' have just as many faults as the girls. Secrets are kept when they shouldn't be. Truths are told that shouldn't have been. Roles are reversed when daughter is forced to take care of parent.

O'Connor states on her website that she...

longed for a book about the girls I remembered from growing up, girls like the one I had been. Girls with multicolored hair and pierced noses, who would cut school and head to Chicago in combat boots and miniskirts, Pixies t-shirts and ripped fishnets. Girls who ditched P.E. to grab a smoke in the parking lot, who carried around poetry books and wrote about death and hate and high emotion, things that mattered.

The limits are pushed when 0'Connor shows what happens to these women grow-up. Do they become normal? How do the actions of one night of high school reach into the future?

The book stays with me, as to the characters. While their story was told, there wasn't a warm, fuzzy closure and I hope that things do turn out well for them.

Recommendation: I have mixed feelings on this one. I liked the writing, but it's probably one you'd need to check out for yourself and decide if the style works for you. Luckily O'Connor has an excerpt available on her website.

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