Thursday, August 25, 2005

Who's a Wannabe?

Queen Bees and Wannabes, which folks may have noticed was cited as the "based on" book for the movie Mean Girls, is a lot better described by its subtitle, Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends & Other Realities of Adolescence. (Note that the lack of the last serial comma is not house style here where I work, but to each publishing house its own.)

This book is really a self-help book. It's very much about how to talk to your daughter, prevent her from rolling her eyes at you, and help her make good decisions, instead of locking her up for five years. I'm not fully convinced it's possible to prevent the eye-rolling, but the message of respect and letting go was good.

There were way fewer personal flashback moments than I would have expected. I think I managed to dodge much of the later-adolescence stuff in my own life. The boys, drugs, sex, partying parts were very interesting, but in a much more anthropological way. Also in a "crap, I'm going to have to rear children one day and deal with this mess" kind of way. But the middle school, cliques, best friend swapping, girl cruelty parts at the beginning of the book were really fascinating. It's an incredibly complex society these kids have, mostly because they're smart enough to think and plan and machinate, but not mature enough intellectually to analyze what they're doing and control themselves.

Upcoming: books I'm planning to read.

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