Book Report: Our highly scientific analysis of a book, from the characters to the writing style to the swoon. See More...

The Name Of The Bar, The Bar Is Called (Boy) Heaven

Megan tries to explain Boy Heaven by Laura Kasischke. (Cheerleaders! Stalkers! Convertibles!)

The Name Of The Bar, The Bar Is Called (Boy) Heaven

BOOK REPORT for Boy Heaven by Laura Kasischke

Cover Story: Misleading
BFF Charm: No Thanks
Swoonworthy Scale: 0
Talky Talk: Pure Poetry
Bonus Factor: Summer Camp
Relationship Status: And Now For Something Completely Different

Cover Story: Misleading

Okay, teen girls in bathing-suits are not necessarily my thing but this book probably won't embarrass you too much, at least at the beach, since the cover screams summer read. To me the most offending part about the cover is how misleading it is. Okay, technically it doesn't lie because the story does have three girls whose descriptions match cover girls, there is a lake and a red convertible. However, the cover (and the title, oh that title) makes you think this book is about girls and their summer at the lake and maybe they meet boys and fall in love and get their hearts broken and learn some lessons and have the best summer. And if you go into this book thinking that, you will be so so confused.

The Deal:

Kristy and her friend Desiree are away at cheerleader summer camp. When Kristy, Desiree and another girl sneak out of camp to go cruising, Kristy gives two boys an accidental smile which sets off an unexpected chain of events.

Uhhh, yep. That's all I'm giving you. I can't really say much more without giving away the ending. This is one of those books that is terribly difficult to describe and boiling it down to its basic plot (cheerleader camp!) is almost false advertising.

BFF Charm: No Thanks

Kristy is certainly a fascinating character. She's an insightful narrator and I enjoyed reading from her perspective. So would I read a book about her? Yes. But would I be her friend in real life? Well, here is a passage in which Kristy describes why she's so well-liked:

It was a bounty, what came along with being friendly and pretty at the same time. No one expected it. If you could do it and make it look sincere - be nice to the ugly girls, smile at the loser and geeks, talk to them in the cafeteria as if they were normal people, invite a few of them to your parties even though your friends would stick their fingers down their throats and pretend to gag when you read the invitation list - the rewards were endless.

Errm, so no thanks. While I might agree with her assessment, it doesn't really have me lining up to be her friend. Also, something is just not quite right with her and the other girls in this book.

Swoonworthy Scale: 0

There are a few illicit sexy bits in this book, but not any that will have you swooning. One of my favorite chapters in the book is when the narrator recounts when a stalker an unrequited suitor showers her with ridiculous gifts and professes his love for her (and claims he knows she loves him back). She has a boyfriend already/has never really spoken to him/done anything to warrant this level of attention. While some books might play that story off as cute or for laughs, this book shows it for what it really is - unsettling and disturbing.

Talky Talk: Pure Poetry

By this point you're probably thinking why would I read this book, there is no swoon, no bff charms to be had, what's in it for me? Well, gentle readers, its the writing that you need to check out. It's full of delicious metaphors and insightful observations. To the point where I was all uhhh how does this author write so well?! and turned to the back flap to find out that she is a poet. Well, duh I guess. Here's just a sample:

Overhead, there was a long, sharp cicada chirr. It paused and surged, surged and paused, sounding as if it were coming from the phone lines - frenzies, electrical, a thousand hysterical mothers chattering in the sky.

Plus, the the level of foreboding and dread the author manages to evoke in contrast to the books innocuous setting is pretty intense.

Bonus Factor: Summer Camp

Kasischke's descriptions of the sights and sounds of her book's summer camp are spot on. From the trees to the lake to the weather to the cicadas, her imagery had me recalling the summer camp days of my youth. Except that an all girls cheerleader camp does not sound as much fun as the Lutheran bible camp I went to, amirite??

Casting Call:

Perfect blonde popular cheerleader? Obviously I can't help but think of Dianna. Not that this would ever be made into a movie. I mean, it just couldn't. Most of the real action is cerebral. Okay, who am I kidding, of course it could be made into a movie. It would be made-for-tv, utterly unrecognizable except for the name and probably be transformed into some cheap teen thriller on Lifetime with a cast of ABC Family level star power. So let's hope that never happens.

Dianna Agron as Kristy

Relationship Status: And Now For Something Completely Different

This is the kind of book you take out for a spin when you're tried of all the typical books you've been reading and are looking for something different. Maybe you've gone on one too many dates with Dystopian YA or just broke up with a Contemporary YA book. So if you want a quick read unlike any you've read in awhile, one that can't be easily categorized, then Boy Heaven is one you should give a chance.

Megan Crane's photo About the Author: Megan is an unabashed fangirl who is often in a state of panic about her inability to watch, read and play all the things.