Tracy's Reviews > The Queen of Cool

The Queen of Cool by Cecil Castellucci
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Feb 16, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: awesome-ya
Read in February, 2008

I HEART CECIL CASTELLUCCI! I love this book. Libby's cool clique rules the school, but Libby is bored out of her mind. She signs up for a zoo internship to stop her mind from unraveling, meets different people, and finds a way to get away from the zombies.

"There are these crabs in the ocean," I begin. "They get into a fisherman's net, and they're too stupid to get out. They just can't figure it out. But every once in a while, one crab figures out how to escape, and the other crabs go crazy and pull it back into the net; they pull its arms and legs off because they just don't want it to leave."

This particular novel plays up to Castellucci's strength of describing thoughts and attitude, then showing how it motivates action. Sex is mentioned without that "after-school special" aura, and the details are fairly oblique (definitely not a how-to manual). This is good for parents who aren't in denial about their teens' sex drive, but hopefully have discussed it frankly. It's unclear if Libby goes all the way as no mention of birth control or contraceptives are mentioned, so don't hand this over to a virgin just let loose from the convent or military school.

One criticism I have about it is the lack of depth in the adult characters. Castellucci's writing is not flowery or terribly descriptive about settings, so it's good that she keeps the narrative trucking along at steady pace. Definitely the best out of the novels I've read so far ("Boy Proof" & "Beige"), but "Plain Janes" still rules my heart.
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