A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl, Tanya Lee Stone

a bad boy can be good for a girl

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One Response to “A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl, Tanya Lee Stone”

  1. bachbooks Says:

    A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl uses a series of prose poems to tell the stories of three different high school girls who each make the mistake of dating the same sketchy guy. The book starts with the story of a freshman who leaves her friends behind when she gets caught up in dating a senior boy and joining the “cool kids” at the center of the high school universe. She eventually sees his true colors and decides to warn the rest of the girls to stay away from his trouble. By scribbling her warning in the blank pages at the end of the school library’s copy of Judy Blume’s Forever she seeks to save others from her fate. The warning arrives too late for a junior girl who has her sights set on trouble, but she eventually gets the picture (and a broken heart). A senior girl is the last to tell her story of trouble. From each of the girls’ stories we learn more and more about just how self-centered and generally lame the boy acts in each “relationship.”

    When this book was passed up to the high school library (for content too mature for middle school), I wanted to read it before I promoted it to my students. It did not take long to breeze through this book. It explores hefty topics of teenage love, relationships, and identity, but it presents them through insubstantial narrative and character development. I liked the various girls, and I felt sorry for them when they inevitably fell for the “bad boy,” but I could not believe they could be so dumb as to ignore all the warning signs and actually fall for the bad boy! The title claims that A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl, and I guess their experiences with this bad boy taught the girls to think with their heads and not with their hearts or their hormones. Their painful experiences did help each of them define themselves in a more determined fashion, but I’m not sure I would trust them not to make the same mistakes the next time they “fall in love.” In real life, a bad boy can be very bad for a girl, and I hope that teen readers are smart enough to trust their instincts and differentiate between love and lust. Fans of the prose poem may enjoy this story of Crank meets Forever, but I’ll stick to more substantial stories of adolescent love.

    Rating: 2 stars

    Recommendations: Why We Broke Up, Eleanor & Park, The Fault in Our Stars, Romeo and Juliet, Twilight, An Abundance of Katherines

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