Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks, by Lauren Myracle (2009)

This one just didn’t work for me. The narrator–elder sister, Carly–starts off deep, then becomes incredibly shallow; she’s kind and loving and protective of her younger sister, Anna, then she’s suddenly spiteful, all because Anna is the prettier of the two.

Also, the story felt kind of cliche to me in parts. Carly tries to be a free spirit, her own person, comfortable in her own skin, and she ends up being shallower than her own, “hot” sister ever was. There are other analogies, too, that struck a false chord with me–shots that were too easy compared to Lauren Myracle’s other, excellent books.

Maybe it’s that this story was centered entirely around standard high school behavior, without anything really unusual to make it stand out. Typically, Ms. Myracle’s work has stronger characters, or at least characters that stay true to themselves, or even whose changes are gradual. In “Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks”–a great, apropos title, btw–it was just as if switches were flipped, and people changed overnight.

It was especially obvious in Carly, who started off being so unapologetically unique, then almost overnight became as predatory as many teen girls are.

The boy figures in the book also felt cliche to me. The new hot guy all the girls go crazy for, and Carly’s steadfast friend-boy, Roger. You could predict from early on what would happen. It just seemed to take so long to get there.

There’s nothing horribly wrong with the book–except that Anna’s huge breasts are mentioned about every other page. There’s just not a whole lot that was especially right, either.


About tom

B.A. in Literature, Minor in Film Theory and Criticism, thus meaning all I’m trained is to write blog posts here. Neptune is my favorite planet–it vents methane into the solar system like my brother does. I think Chicken McNuggets look like Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Indiana. There are times when I’m medicated, which is why I wrote about McNuggets. Buy some today and tell me I’m wrong! Anyway, Beyond that: mammal, Floridian, biped.Good Night, and Good Luck. Besos, tom
This entry was posted in Books, Books Read in 2014, Young Adult. Bookmark the permalink.

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