Thursday, October 30, 2008

Girls Out Late by Jacqueline Wilson

Girls Out Late

The three main characters, Nadine, Magda, and Ellie vary in size, style, and attitude. Ellie, who nararates the story, talks about her insecurities about her weight and popularity. No matter how fat she feels in her pants, or too-tight sweaters, she still acts confident when in her friends’ presence. They lift her up, and always stand by her. Ellie has a neat Stepmother, little brother, and a Dad who tries very hard to stay firm, while still letting her figure things out on her own. Her Dad encourages her to draw, date (14 yrs old), or do whatever else makes me happy. Magda differs from Ellie in almost every way. She is gorgeous, loves boys, and wants to spend all of her free time shopping. Nadine wear all black, loves to listen to underground bands, and had an abusive boyfriend in the past.

During the story, the girls deal with many issues with the opposite sex. Ellie has her first boyfriend, Russell. Nadine struggles to distance herself from her ex-boyfriend. Magda gets herself in trouble after pursuing a teacher. The girls always make time for each other. Although they find it difficult at times, they all promise to pick each other over boys. Even at their early age, they realize boys come and go, but the relationship between women is long lasting and special.

The biggest event of the story revolves around a concert. The singer, a self-proclaimed feminist, cancels the show because her new football star boyfriend sees her lyrics as man bashing. The girls, already in the big city, find themselves alone without any way to get home. A group of young men approach the girls and invite them to their loft. Nadine falls head-over-heels in love with one of the emo-looking boys, and begs the girls to go along. To make a long story short, the girls were in a very bad situation at the loft, and likely would have been raped. But, they worked together to escape and get to the bus.

I liked that this book showed such a positive friendship between the girls. The girls were strong, very different, and did not need men to “save” them. By working together, anything was possible. That is a concept I think most girls today need to hear.

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