Friday, March 26, 2010
Bass Ackwards and Belly Up
Authors: Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain
Publisher: Little, Brown
Length: 386 pages
Best friends Becca, Harper, Kate and Sophie are all armed with high school diplomas - ready to take shake off suburbia and head to college. Except a secret, a speech and a sleepover ends in three girls deciding to instead spend the next semester pursing their dreams.
Whilst Becca goes to study and ski at Middlebury University, perfect Kate turns down Harvard and heads on a European adventure. Sophie plans to take on Hollywood and Harper is staying home to write the Great American Novel and serve coffees. Through the course of the novel, we track their individual and collective journeys of friendship, romance and self-discovery.
I enjoyed Bass Ackwards and Belly Up, though having been a huge fan of Anne Brashares Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series, I did feel like I already knew the story format and could predict what was going to happen. Actually I noticed a few parallels between the Belly Up and Sisterhood girls (in short Harper - Carmen, Kate - Lena, Sophie - Bridgit, Becca - Tibby). It also seemed to 'check the boxes' of a few YA cliches - not necessarily in a bad way as they are all relatable and identifiable, but I definitely felt I had been down this same (fictional) road before.
I think the overall idea was really strong - that having the courage to throw off tradition and expectations to follow your own path is a positive one, and I liked that each girl gets a bit of a reality check as well. I did feel a bit unfulfilled with the ending, though at the time of publication the sequel, Footfree and Fancyloose had already been planned, so perhaps a lot of these narrative issues are resolved more fully then.
had already been planned
Overall, Bass Ackwards is an enjoyable read and would probably go down well with fans of Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and Jodi Lynn Anderson's Peaches series.