Sarah Evans's Reviews > The Debs

The Debs by Susan McBride
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Dec 04, 2008

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Read in December, 2008

Take the high end brand-name dropping and excessive teenage drinking of Gossip Girls, add the feel-good girl bonds of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, mix with a dash of casual sex then serve up in chick-lit style with an evil queen bee on the rim and you have McBride’s series for teens. In Houston, the most privileged high school senior girls wait breathlessly to be selected as Rosebud Debutantes for the Glass Slipper Club. Best friends Laura, Mac, and Ginger are all daughters of former Rosebuds as is their arch-nemesis, Jo Lynn. The story unfolds in chapters told in third person from one of the four girl’s perspective. Laura is an attractive and confident size 14, but allows herself to be run around by her love/lust for hunky Avery as well as the dirt Jo Lynn holds over her. Mac has no desire to be a deb, but is pushed along by her friends, her late mother’s dream, and her well-meaning albeit annoying step-mother. She’s more interested in books and understanding the changing nature of her relationship with the boy next door. Ginger plans to debut in her grandmother’s gown, but her passion for environmentalism and a college guy put her in a compromising position. Meanwhile, Jo Lynn’s pettiness and insecurity keep her busy trying to undermine Laura, the daughter of her mother’s best friends. The author’s adult fiction roots show here as both Laura and Jo Lynn often sound more like world weary 29 year-olds than 17 year-olds facing their senior year. Fortunately Ginger and Mac are both realistically drawn and appealingly sympathetic. The unique setting, intriguing storylines and gossip-lit trappings will keep teen girls clamoring for more, though more conservative communities may not respond as positively.
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