I find it amusing that there are small details about books that stick with me. Especially with this one. I hadn’t thought about this book in a while but as soon as I started reading it all started coming back to me.
This book bothered me when I read it back in the day, but I really had no idea why. It has the requisite amount of boys and kissing, but it never left me feeling right. Rereading it, I can figure out why: Laurie, the main character, is really troubled. And it’s subtle. She has no identity of her own, and always acts just like other people want her to. And I don’t think she even did is consciously. It’s the influence of her best friend Soap, who has problems of her own.
Soap constantly gets in trouble at school, and does it to get attention from her parents, which is my Freaudian interpretation. Also, she feels like an outcast, she kind of outcasts herself. laurie, her friend since childhood always goes along with it. Laurie has no other friends than Soap, because Soap tends to isolate the two of them from everyone else. Finally, Soap gets expelled and has to enroll in Miss Pringle’s school for girls, and convinces Laurie to convince her parents to enroll her there too, which she DOES! Talk about a pushover.
Laurie meets Hilary, who is super rich and sophisticated, and takes an interest in Laurie although Laurie is not so sure she likes Hilary, but is desperate to have friends other than sope. MEMORIABLE TIDBIT #1: She is at a sleepover at Hilary’s, and Hilary thinks her pajamas are babyish, so she makes her wear one of her sexy nightgowns. The fuck? Also, she suggests she let Laurie cut her hair, which Laurie of course goes along with.
Laurie hangs out with Hilary, her boyfriend Boots, and his various douchey friends. Hilary has a makeup party at her house. MEMORABLE TIDBIT #2: She puts makeup on Laurie, which includes borwn lipstick. Laurie also puts some on her cheeks (?) borrows one of Hilary’s bras and stuffs it with tissues. When some guy sticks his tongue down her throat, she goes upstairs to the bathroom and vomits. Which is, sadly, my reaction to courtship rituals.
MEMORABLE TIDBIT #3: Laurie goes on a double date to the movies with Hilary and the douchebags, and the guy stick his tongue in Laurie’s ear. That totally freaked me out when I first read this.
Meanwhile, Soap’s father is having an affair with one of their teachers, and they cut school to spy on them. They spy on them in the park. MEMORABLE TIDBIT #4: Soap’s father brings his mistress lunch, but it’s a mustard sandwich because he didn’t have anything else to bring.
Meanwhile Laurie’s new friends are mad that she is hanging out with Soap, but Laurie ends up choosing to hang out with Soap in the end, realizing Soap is her only true friend. Is that really a happy ending? Soap still has her troubles and once again she and Laurie are social outcasts. However, Soap does recognize that her parents’ marriage trouble was affecting her, and laurie does realize that Hilary wasn’t as good a friend as she thought she was. I don’t even think Laurie has grown much. Just go with me on this, but it reminds me of Superbad, where the impressionable Evan is codependent on Seth and feels like he missed out on other friendships because of Seth. Yes, I do believe that Superbad was, in parts, actually endearing. And pretty fucking funny.
I wish there was some sort of sequel, so I could know if Laurie was able to grow some ovaries.