Book Summary: Josie, a freshman, finds herself dating Tony, a senior. She goes back and forth with herself as Tony seems to be changing who she is and what she thinks she wants. After fooling around with him plenty of times, he wants more than she’s willing to give. He leaves her for another girl in school, leaving Josie heartbroken and wanting to warn other girls about him. Aviva and Nicolette also find themselves chewed up and spit out by Tony, and Josie has one way to help them find themselves again: Forever by Judy Blume.
APA Reference of Book: Stone,T. L. (2006). A bad boy can be good for a girl. New York, NY: Random House.
Impressions: I really enjoyed this book. The verse structure made this book a quick but powerful read. It took me back to high school when I was falling hopelessly in love despite the red flags everywhere. The author does a great job of not only getting into the mind of a teenage girl, but showing how falling in love can often end in self conflict. I liked the idea of the Tony burn book in the back of Forever. He was a awful guy and to have these young women team up to arm themselves against the power he could hold over them was refreshing. I also enjoyed Aviva, Nicolette, and Josie. The author described each of these characters personalities and lives in such a short amount of time. Each character felt well-rounded, allowing me to feel more for each of them when Tony plowed through them. I was able to get a good sense of differences between the girls without it being overly cheesy. Particularly with Aviva, who is an Alanis-loving guitar player. She doesn’t seem stereotypical or made to be starkly different from Nicolette and Josie. Each of the girls, in their differences, had similarities, and that helped the reader understand why Tony went for them. The writing style was to the point but descriptive enough that it did not feel like the reader was being short changed. Similarly, it was not too descriptive that it made the reader feel dumb. This book is hands down my favorite of the semester.
Professional Review: “Three high-school girls take turns relating their separate experiences with the same bad boy, a senior jock who seems only interested in one thing: “nailing” them. There’s enough in this verse novel to make a grown woman cringe—remembering what it was like back then and that the more things change they stay the same. These narrators, despite their varied backgrounds and ambitions, are interested in, well, the physical realm of boy/girl relations and are willing to kiss and tell: They speak poetry of pedestrian language, which, at its most varied, describes erotic outings and, in one instance, oral sex. High school girls with uncomplicated reading agendas might find this brain candy gratifying. But those with SATs on their minds will find this shallow, repetitive and empty. (Fiction. YA)“– Kirkus Reviews
A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl [Review of the book A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl. (2010, May 20). Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved from https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/tanya-lee-stone/a-bad-boy-can-be-good-for-a-girl/
Library Uses: This book would be good for discussion in a feminist book club hosted by the library. In a classroom setting, getting students to consider which book they believe would be a good one to post their own burn book in the back of.