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Curran, Colleen. Whores on the hill, a novel.

CURRAN, Colleen. Whores on the hill, a novel. Random House, Vintage. 224p. c2005. 1400079950. $12.95. A

This debut novel is set at the last all-girls' school in Milwaukee in the late 1980s. Astrid, Juli, and Thisbe, all age 15, are known around town as the Whores on the Hill, the sluts of Sacred Heart, bad girls who will do anything. Dressed in what they call "uniform punk"--fishnets, combat boots, and their school uniforms--the girls leave a trail of destruction everywhere they go. They have a morbid obsession with Deb Scott, a girl who went to their school some years back and whose bad-girl antics made her a legend.

Buyer beware: the girls drink, swear, do drugs, have lots of casual sex, get pregnant, cut school, self-mutilate, and try to commit suicide. In spite of the constant drama, the story never feels heavy-handed or unrealistic. Curran intersperses short chapters with various girls' stories about first kisses, sex, dating, and horoscopes. The characters jump off the page, making a real impression. Astrid touts herself as a new breed of girl, one not afraid to try anything and go against convention. Thisbe seems constantly amazed that this is her life, but continues to barrel ahead even though she knows her decisions aren't so great. Well-written and unique, this book will appeal to adults and older teens alike. Readers will be moved, and also cringe, while observing the twists and turns the girls' paths take on their journey through adolescence. Amanda McGregor, Boston, MA

A--Recommended for advanced students and adults. This code will help librarians and teachers working in high schools where there are honors and advanced placement students. This also will help extend KLIATT's usefulness in public libraries.
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Author:MacGregor, Amanda
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 2005
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