Before Francie Knight comes along, Valentina is pretty much a nothing. She has no more friends since they all moved away. Francie and Valentina seem to be total opposites; Francie is the big-haired blonde, the girl that catches everyone's attention, but Val is the brunette, the quiet one that fades into the background. They would make the most unlikely duo. However, the day that Francie calls out Val's name in the mall, Val knows her life will never be the same. And it isn't. The two new friends team up to shoplift, a new skill for Val but an old one for Francie. According to Francie, they don't steal because they want something, but because it already belongs to them. But a talent for shoplifting and Francie's unpredictable attitude change Val and leaves the reader thinking, who really is the blonde of the joke?
The Blonde of the Joke was a funny and impressive novel. Francie isn't completely likable because of all the lies she tells and just how she comes off as a jerk. As the novel progresses, though, cracks begin to show in her pretty mask, and Val begins to see that Francie really isn't such a great person. I didn't really like Val that much either. At first, she was a loner who basically pitied herself all the time; then she became slightly more likable when she became friends with Francie. However, in the end, Val turned out to be worse than Francie. Even though I didn't like the characters, I really loved the story. Throughout the novel, there's this constant wanting for more that both friends feel. It's so strong that it almost takes over their lives, but while one of the them learns that she can't depend on shoplifting, the other gets caught.
The Blonde of the Joke is actually pretty confusing, but one of the messages is pretty clear: sometimes, the only person you can depend on is yourself. I recommend this novel for people looking for a though-provoking read.