Monday, June 16, 2008


In Guyaholic, by Carolyn Mackler, High school senior Vivienne Vail Valentine, better known as "V," has a well-earned reputation; she specializes in short term relationships. She does not have boyfriends, she "hooks up" and "hangs out," generally over a two-week period of time, and then moves on. With fitting irony, V, having worked hard to not follow her mother's destructive pattern, has essentially emulated her tactics without using the word "boyfriend." Things change during V's senior when she is sent to Brockport to live with her grandparents. V meets Sam Almond at a hockey game and as graduation nears they have been together for three months. Refusing to label their relationship, V notes "We exist in this blurry zone that's more than friends with benefits and less than going out." Things change when V's mother misses graduation and V, in turn, lashes out by cheating on Sam - and getting caught. Hurt, miserable, guilty, and self-absorbed, V undertakes a cross country journey to find her mother and along the way finds pieces of someone more important, herself.

Mackler's portrayal of wild V is sharp and to the point; she makes no excuses, and takes no prisoners. With a great cast of supporting characters, she also keeps V from becoming a stereotypical bad-girl. This is a fast paced novel that will definitely appeal to teenage girls. A follow-up to Vegan Virgin Valentine, it stands on its own merit.

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