Synopses & Reviews
A sharp-tongued beauty meets a quirky, quick-witted loner in this funny, poignant new novel from the author of SHAKESPEARE BATS CLEANUP and STONER & SPAZ.
She's drop-dead gorgeous, has a razor-sharp wit, and is a charter member of the school's most popular clique. Margaux (with an x) is the dream catch of every teenage male within her radar. Encouraged by her caustic friend Sara, she's perfected the art of the sarcastic tease, while keeping her sweaty-palmed suitors just far enough at bay. It's a dreary game, but at least she's not home with Mom, the shopping channel addict, Dad, the professional gambler, and a certain haunting secret from her past. Then along comes Danny Riley a scrawny, weak-chinned, animal-loving oddball with a quaint chivalrous streak, a kindhearted kid who can match her banter to the polysyllable and who harbors a few painful memories of his own.
Only in the hands of Ron Koertge would such an unlikely pair find each other and reward the reader with such satisfying, straight-shooting repartee, full of angst and wisdom, humor and heart.
"As with his Stoner and Spaz, Koertge creates fully realized characters in the form of gorgeous Margaux Wilcox and scruffy Danny Riley, a volunteer at the Humane Society and their unlikely bond. The author adopts a third-person narration, but the novel unfolds largely through Margaux's perspective, and her love of language makes for a stimulating read ('One of the things she likes one of the things she's good at is turbocharged persiflage'). Although she recognizes Danny from school, Margaux gets to know him when he nearly hijacks her car in order to escape the scene where he's been checking on an adopted dog (the next day at school, Margaux refers to him as 'last night's benign highwayman'). The author plants clues to a transgression by Margaux's gambler father that occurred when she was 10 and that has cracked the foundation of her family. She finds refuge with Danny and the intelligent, somewhat hardened yet steadfast aunt who acts as his guardian. Readers may feel that the author does not dig quite deeply enough into some of the other significant relationships here, yet he remains satisfyingly true to the leading characters. Their witty repartee will thrill word lovers, even if the book itself comes to somewhat of an abrupt close. Ages 14-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The author of "Stoner and Spaz" delivers a new novel about sharp-tongued beauty who meets a quirky, quick-witted loner in a story that contains satisfying, straight-shooting repartee and is full of angst and wisdom, humor and heart.