The Compulsive Reader: Getting the Girl by Susan Juby

Friday, August 29, 2008

Getting the Girl by Susan Juby

There is only one thing--one girl, to be more specific--on Sherman Mack's mind as he starts his freshmen year Harewood Tech, and that is Dini Trioli. But the unlikelihood of her ever recognizing short, geeky Sherm as a datable guy increases when she starts going out with the most popular senior in their school. That doesn't discourage him though, because it's not long before he finds evidence that Dini might be Defiled--the ultimate humiliation for any girl at Harewood. Lives have been ruined by the Defiler, who cleverly destroys a girl's social standing just by posting a few pictures in bathrooms with the letter D on them, causing his fellow classmates to do the rest by ostracizing the girl.

Sherm is outraged that anyone would ever dream of Defiling Dini, so under the influence of his friend Vanessa, he launches a crazy, risky, and hilarious investigation, only looking for the person responsible for ruining Dini. But the forces that are the Defilers are more powerful than Sherm realizes, and he finds himself taking on more than he anticipated. But with the help of his eccentric friends, a book on private investigating, and his excellent cooking skills, he might just make social history.

Susan Juby, who became known for her wit and intelligence is her Alice series and her sensitivity and humor in Another Kind of Cowboy, emulates a truly authentic and reachable character in Sherm, who doesn't shy around the nitty-gritty details, no matter how embarrassing or personal. Her knack for creating the most outrageous and zany characters and circumstances with the utmost seriousness punctuates her story with reality perfectly.

The mystery aspect of the novel was kept unnecessarily uncomplicated, but readers will have to pay real sharp attention to the details in order to catch all the tiny hints and clues that are easy to miss. The final showdown is a surprising and tiny bit dragged out, but it works nicely with the flow of the book and the effect is true to the voice and characters of the novel. Full of quirks, laughs, and a dash of serious social problems, Getting the Girl is one book that you won't want to miss.
Getting the Girl will be available from HarperTeen September 30th, 2008!


Carolina said...

I have this book and I can't wait to read it. Great review as always! :)

Em said...

Sounds interesting. And I love the cover!