Monday, September 24, 2012

Whip It by Shauna Cross

Title: Whip It
Author: Shauna Cross
Published: September 15, 2009 by Square Fish (originally published in 2007 as "Derby Girl")
Genre: Romance, Comedy, YA, Chick Lit
Reviewer: Hannah


Welcome to Crapsville. Where life sucks and everyone is a complete hick with horrible taste in music. At least that's what 16-year-old Bliss thinks of her small-town prison, Bodeen, Texas. Bliss mangaes to survive the monotony with vintage clothing, her best friend Pash, eye-rolling at her pageant-obsessed mother, and, of course, indie rock.

Then, on a trip to Austin, Bliss discovers a Roller Derby track called The Dollhouse. She finally, finally has something that she's good at! But...will she be able to handle the consequences that come with being a badass Derby rebel?


Whip It was a so-so for me. It's not that it was mediocre; it's just that the positives and negatives somewhat cancel each other out.

What are the positives, you say? Cross gives a very engaging narrative; it's definitely an easy read, I breezed right through it. It's not like you have to psych yourself up just to progress a few chapters ahead (and I know you've read books like that, don't tell me you haven't). The plotline, while predictable and a bit too wrapped-up-nicely-with-a-pretty-bow, was still decent--decent enough, it seems, to warrant a film adaption.

And yes, I will admit, I am intrigued to see the movie. Maybe Ellen Page manages to fill out the Bliss character more so than the book has.

Which brings me to the negatives; mostly, it was the characters I didn't like. I found Bliss to be dumb and hypocratic; she wants to be treated like a mature, responsible adult, to be given the same rights--and yet, she acts like an idiotic teen. She falls for a guy named Oliver, gives it up to him, and of course later learns that he's of the use-her-and-lose-her variety of womanizing sleezeballs.

And then there are the supporting characters. Her best friend Pash was immature and shallow. Her mother Brooke was oppressive and ignorant (one of those mothers who tries to imprint their ideals and dreams onto their children--horrific, no?). Her father Earl was, again, ignorant and, do I say this without crossing Martha's no-foul-language rule...? Let's just say Brooke had him by the balls.

In a nutshell, the character development was shoddy and the plot was predictable. But hey, besides that, it was pretty decent. I didn't want to totally murder Bliss like some other heroines I've had the displeasure of being inside the heads of. And that's a plus, right?

I've rated Whip It:

 (3/5)     -Hannah


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