Title: of all the Stupid Things
It really was a stupid thing that Brent Staple did – doing it (so the rumour goes) with Chris Sanchez, one of the guy cheerleaders. Who’d have thought that Brent, the school’s hottest jock, could be gay? But the doubt about Brent doesn’t just hurt Tara – it’s the beginning of the end for an inseparable trio of friends.
Tara’s training for the marathon, but also running from her father and her fear of ever being abandoned again. Beautiful Whitney Blaire’s got everything and nothing, because her parents have never had time for her. And Pinkie has a compulsive need to mother everyone to make up for the mom she never stops missing. The girls couldn’t be more different, but doesn’t that just prove the strength of their friendship?
Then new-girl Riley arrives in school, wafting her long black hair and a scent of lilacs. Suddenly, Tara starts to feel things she’s never felt before for a girl - and to reassess her feelings about Brent and what he may/may not have done. Is Tara gay – or does she just love Riley? And can the map of her deepest friendships ever be redrawn in a post-Riley world?
Tara, Pinkie and Whitney Blaire have been friends for AGES. Childhood friends, they never had a problem, until gossip starts tearing them apart. This piece of gossip is more involving Tara and her boyfriend, who is accused of cheating. Is it true? No one knows, but Tara is devastated. But this isn't all, a new girl is in town, Riley. With her long shiny hair and her ways Tara can't help but be mystified, only she doesn't know what these feelings mean. Could this be the knife that cuts the umbilical cord that holds these 3 friends together? Or could they possibly move on?
My main problem with "of all the Stupid Things" is that while the characters were there for a purpose I didn't like that purpose or how it never resolved itself entirely. Is not that it was badly written, I am sure a lot of people would have acted that way, is just that this attitude doesn't go with me. As you must all know by now one of the themes of the novel is homosexuality and I just couldn't wrap my mind around how these characters reacted to some of the events.
Anyhow, one of the positive things of this book is that all the "main characters" have a distinct voice. Tara is the tough one, Pinkie is the mother hen/annoying one, who is actually the one that I most liked by the end of the novel because she was the one who, in my eyes, grew the most, and Whitney Blaire is the rich girl. They all have their dramas, problems like parents, self-identity, and more.
Which leads me to my second problem with this book; there were too many plot lines. Most of them were left unresolved, or just half way resolved. By the end of the book I felt like I had more questions than answers; Some characters disappeared entirely! I think maybe it's because the book was so small the author didn't have the time to completely resolve the story and it's many plot lines; more pages would have made the book better.
Even though this things surely happened and annoyed me, I still finished the book and enjoyed it. I liked the characters because in some way or another they managed to grow, even though I think the way to the growing was left with some holes. I liked the story because it sends a message to those people who have the main attitude some of the characters have to some situation. It was a good read with many holes, if you think you can survive and not fall into these holes I suggest you try it out and see for yourself.
What I recommend is maybe do a sequel to further resolve some problems and give us a better picture of what went on after the ending, answer some questions, and bring these characters closer together.