Caris's Reviews > Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty

Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty by Jody Gehrman
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's review
Mar 18, 12

liked it
bookshelves: 2012, young-adult, shakespeare
Read from March 16 to 18, 2012

This book informed me, against my will, of the sordid details surrounding the ingestion of copious amounts of coffee by teenage girls and the resulting bowel movements. Points for realism? Perhaps. But one of the best things about reading books is the general lack of pooping. I’m still torn on that one.

In spite of some truly atrocious writing in places, this novel navigated the slippery slope of Shakespearean feminism and emerged safely on the other side. I was worried. Early on, there is an established virgin/whore dynamic, one that was entirely too reminiscent of own high school experiences. The problem as I saw it was clear: how is this perhaps less-than-capable author going to turn this shit into the right sort of moral lesson for the story? Instead of offering a spoiler here, I’ll just say that the author proved herself to be a very capable plotter and did, in fact, deliver the goods. By the end of the story, while I didn’t feel the overwhelming sense of girl power, I felt a sense of rightness. The story happened the way it should have. The lessons learned are the ones that should have been. Which is more than I can say for its source material, Much Ado About Nothing.

Shakespeare's play is great. I thoroughly enjoyed it. While making me think, it made me laugh. It left me feeling unsettled, though. I don’t like that (view spoiler). That everything is made all right after that seems wrong. Some stories demand unsatisfactory endings. Shakespeare’s, I think, is one of them. Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty (oh, how stupid I feel typing those words) lessens the painful act and makes it more relevant to today’s youth.* The (view spoiler) is more reasonable.

To me, the most interesting part of the original work was the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick. Their snarky back-and-forth banter made the play incredibly fun. While we see that same sort of conversation between Geena and Ben, it doesn’t have the same cutting edge to it. The reader pretty much grasps from their first interaction that they’re into each other. I liked the subversiveness of the trickery in the play. In this book, the trick isn’t so much a trick as it is a reason for them to get together.

In spite of the fact that so much of it was very hard to read, I give this one a pass. The author didn’t shy away from the really important themes in the play.

*This is only partially true. It’s relevant in an abstract sense. So much of what these teenagers said and did was totally out of line with how real teenagers act. This, I think, can be directly linked to the author’s effort to adequately represent the different cliques present in high school culture. Again, an admirable effort, but it always reads like it was written by an outsider adult. Gehrman attempts to accurately portray trailer trash, “wiggers” (her term, not mine), rich kids, jocks, stoners, skaters, etc., etc. Her characters are never believable, which really strips the story of the impact it could’ve otherwise had.
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Reading Progress

03/16/2012 page 10
4.0% "Holy shitballs. This is fucktarded already."

Comments (showing 1-4)

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Caris I think I must have blocked that bit of toilet contemplation from my memory. Loud and clear now. Thanks for that.

Caris I'm thinking of some adage about friends and enemies. Can't remember how it goes.

Caris No, that doesn't sound quite right.

Caris That's close, but still not quite right.

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