August 1st, 2006

Veronica Mars, Kristen Bell, knowing

Boy Heaven by Laura Kasischke

Boy Heaven by Laura Kasischke is a modern-day urban legend that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until they reach the shocking conclusion.

One afternoon, three girls sneak away from cheerleading camp, planning to drive to a nearby lake. The teenagers never quite make it there. While at the gas station, the beautiful driver - Kristy Sweetland, the narrator of the tale - attracts the unwanted attention of two boys.

On the drive back, the girls attempt to lose the boys, but the narrator's best friend, Desiree, is an insatiable flirt. She prompts them to do something that only increases the boys' interest. They do eventually lose the guys and head back to camp, thinking nothing of it.

As the days go on, two of the girls think they see the boys spying on them, and one of the girls receives a threatening note in her bunk. The situation affects each girl differently: Kristy reflects on past events that have shaped her, such as the loss of her father; Desiree starts a risky relationship with a cute lifeguard; and the third girl, Kristi "with an I," becomes withdrawn and anorexic.

The vast majority of Boy Heaven is told in first person from Kristy's point of view. However, the book begins and ends in third person as the story is told around a campfire, furthering its set-up as an urban legend.

Fans of Lois Duncan ought to pick this book up. The writing style is fresh, the plot intricate, and the settings and characters quite detailed, making Boy Heaven one of this summer's most intriguing page-turners.

Due to content, Boy Heaven is for older teens and adults.

A note, added years later: Kasischke's writing is always haunting - in the memorable sense, not the supernatural sense. I've now read four of her books, and you'd think after reading Boy Heaven that I would expect or look for the big twist, but I don't: I simply let the story unravel, and I think it hits harder that way.

Vote for this review at Amazon.
Check out my other reviews at Amazon.
Browse through my reviews on LiveJournal.
Read my post for Wicked Cool Overlooked Books dedicated to Boy Heaven by Laura Kasischke.
Read my review of Feathered by Laura Kasischke.
Read an excerpt from Boy Heaven online.