Monday, 22 March 2010
Review: The Girls by Tucker Shaw
Released: March 2nd, 2010
Grade rating: B/B+
Meet Mary: She's beautiful, she's nice, and her ski star boyfriend is cheating on her. Meet Crystal: She's a townie, she works at Mod Jeans, and she's cheating with Mary's boyfriend. Meet Sylvia: She's nasty, she's rich, and she's got something up her Prada-designed sleeve. Meet Amber: She's a flake, she's the barista at the hottest coffee shop in Aspen, and she serves up gossip even hotter than grande skim lattes. Meet Peggy: She's Mary's best friend, she's a snowboarder and aspiring chef, and she has no idea how to cope with all these girls.
The Girls reminded me of a series like Gossip Girl, only a tamer version. It has less swearing, no sex, and an equal amount of backstabbing bitchiness. I love books like this, so it'll come as no surprise to hear that I devoured The Girls in one sitting. It's a modern retelling of The Women, a play by Clare Booth Luce, and although I haven't ever read the source material, I had no problems getting to grips with the story.
Tucker Shaw has an excellent grasp on the lives of rich teen girls; how they speak, what they think and the way they act around each other. They're competitive, outspoken, and date all the wrong boys. Take Sylvia, for example: she could have a great circle of friends at Maroon Bells School for Girls, but instead she chooses to be a calculating mean girl intent on upsetting as many of her "friends" as possible. Peggy and Mary's friendship is the only real constant in the book, with their seemingly unbreakable bond being the root of the story.
The Girls is a boy-free zone, with no inclusion of male characters except for mentions of short phone conversations. It doesn't suffer because of this, though I would have liked to learn more about the various boyfriends and the motivations behind their actions. Each girl's boyfriend is inexplicably linked to someone else, making the relationships in The Girls a tangled web of lies, deceit and betrayal.
If you're a fan of series like Gossip Girl, It Girl and Private, then The Girls is definitely one for you. It's a quick and easy read, and is written in a style that makes it very hard to put down. I can't wait to read more by Tucker Shaw, and I hope he writes more books like this.