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Good Girls Don't Kindle Edition
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There is Declan, who is suffering from depression. Lucy, who Emily used to have a crush on, whose current relationship looks like it is getting more serious than anyone expected. Hugh, Emily’s ex-boyfriend who is dating someone else. Barry is Emily’s best friend, the person she can always rely on and the one that almost everyone else thinks she is destined to be with.
Emily’s interventions don’t always make things better. In fact she often makes things worse, for everyone including herself.
At its core Good Girls Don’t is a story about teenagers getting to grips with friendship, sex and sexuality and everything that entails.
There are times when Emily isn't particularly likeable, there are times when she is irritating, there are times when I want to bang certain characters heads together and tell them to cop on; typical teenage stuff really. But I kept turning the page because I wanted to see where their friendships and relationships were going.
I read Good Girls Don’t by Claire Hennessy when it first came out in 2004 and loved it. I was a couple of years older than the characters, at the time, but what struck me was that it was one of the first contemporary novels (especially YA novels) I came across with gay and bisexual characters. That it was written by an Irish author, and a teenager at that, was a bonus.
More than that, while the sexuality of the characters is entwined with the plot, the story isn't all “So and so is gay or bisexual, shock horror”. There is normality to it all. This, somewhat depressingly, is as refreshing today as it was in 2004.
Last year after reading Hennessy’s marriage equality related short story, Good Girls Vote Yes, involving Emily and her friends I decided to track down a copy of the original to re-read.
I'm glad I did. It’s still an enjoyable read.
Where do I start? I'm suprised Claire's writing hasn't improved over the years. My mum keeps buying me her books despite knowing well that I amn't interested in fluff like this. I know Claire started quite young but just because you *can* write a full novel doesn't mean you should.
Claire would probably be much more comfortable writing short stories for trashy teen magazines. It's obvious from this book that she reads teen mags and wanted to draw lot's of trendy teen issues into the book. But she's really writing about things she's never experienced and it shows.
Like how the lead character in the book takes one drag of a spliff and suddenly thing are "funnier" than they seem. One drag? wow that must be some strong hash!
An issue I have with Claire Hennessy's writing is the amount of pointless dribble that fills the pages and doesn't contribute to the plot. It's like her endless stream of thoughts. It gives me a headache trying to extract the actual storyline!
And the storyline itself is rushed and even though she brings up interesting topics she doesn't explore them fully or in an interesting way.
I also didn't like the way she dealt with being a bisexual teenager or having a friend with depression. It just seems contrived and, once again, trendy.
The main character, Emily, just isn't likeable. Claire should stop putting so many characters in her books and concentrate on quality over quantity.
Also there are too many references to pop culture that make the book seem dated.
This book is so bad you should get it for the laugh. My friends and i had great craic quoting this awful book.
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