I’m Sure My Coolness Factor Has Gone Up Just By Reading This Book!
Fiction - YA
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Original Title: Derby Girl
Publication Date: 2007
In a town where football players are high school gods and their peroxide cheerleader girlfriends reign supreme lives Bliss Cavendar, and her best friend, Pash; Bodeen, Texas’ resident rebels. In love with music and unable to conform to her former-pageant-queen mother’s expectations, Bliss tries to find where she fits. Her salvation comes in the form of Roller Derby, and its witty, tattooed angels. But as with all things, even “crushworth” boys in bands, there is no such thing as perfect and the world is not always how you see it.
Told directly to the audience by Bliss this book is fun, fairly light and pretty dang funny! Bliss’ witty comments and scathing descriptions, from saying her mother suffers from Tiara-ism to the unironic mullet, keeps the reader wondering what she will come up with next. Cross nicely interweave Bliss’ hilarity with some heart. Bliss begins the process of transition from child to adult. She realizes her parents are people and not quite the enemy she thought they were. Bliss also makes the startling discovery that her whole world doesn’t need to revolve around herself. Both of which are very mature ideas.
This was one of my first introductions to the world of Roller Derby and I have to say I love it. I would definitely recommend this book for more of the high school age group and older, not younger: it deals with underage drinking, sex and shoplifting, plus occasional strong language.
Side note: The movie directed by Drew Barrymore based on this book is pretty good in its own right!