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Better Than Blonde

by Teresa Toten

Despite her realization, at the end of Me and the Blondes, that blondes also have problems, 15-year-old Sophie Kandinsky still longs “to be a Blonde in the deeper, metaphysical, spiritual sense, with a big honking house, fabulous clothes, and a shimmery blonde life with no complications.” But “no complications” appears not to be an option for her, what with her father’s recent release from prison and the fact that the “ever-luscious, heart-poundingly gorgeous Luke Pearson” has his eye on her.

Sophie’s frustrated that each of the Blondes has made her the repository of a secret, even though she herself has “come clean” about her family. She’s also worried that her father is drinking again, and she can’t understand why her mother is suddenly absent from home all the time. To top it off, her Eastern European “aunts” Eva, Radmila, and Luba have given her a whole box of steamy romance novels — including Sweet Savage Love – that fan the flames of her feelings for Luke, a schoolmate who Sophie’s got the hots for but who is going steady with another girl.

Sex, marriage, secrets — Toten weaves them all together in this multi-threaded sequel that concludes with sobering surprises, but en route includes refreshing glimpses into the cultures of Sophie’s family and friends. Unabashed preoccupations with “boobs,” first-time sex, and teen romance make this a light high-school romance, but its insight into negotiating cultural difference gives it a special twist.


Reviewer: Deirdre Baker

Publisher: Penguin Canada


Price: $14

Page Count: 212 pp

Format: Paper

ISBN: 978-0-14-305314-0

Released: April

Issue Date: 2007-6


Age Range: 12+