Sunday, July 1, 2007

Bad Tickets - Kathleen O'Dell

Mary Margaret just wants to be free. Free from her mother's instructions, free from her good girl reputation, and free from the life that has been pretty much mapped out for her. It is the end of the sixties, Vietnam is in full swing, and Mary Margaret wants to rebel from her safe, sheltered Catholic school existence.

Enter Jane, Mary Margaret's new best friend. She is beautiful, funny, exciting, and pushes her to do all sorts of things she never did before. She is all sorts of a bad influence, but mostly in a good way. Its because of her that Mary Margaret approaches the boy she's always had a crush on, its because of her that she begins to see that she doesn't have to just end up married and perpetually pregnant like her mom.

Nothing much happens in this book, but it won me over quickly. I loved LOVED that the girls experimented with drugs and had fun and nothing bad happened. How often does that happen in YA Books? Pretty much never. Usually they'd end up full-blown drugged out losers who have to pull themselves out of the gutter or they'd die or something equally clichéd. And then, of course, we would have all learned the moral lesson the Drugs Are Bad. So the fact that they experimented with drugs and there was no moral lesson? I think that might have been my favorite part of the book.

I liked that Mary Margaret had a good head on her shoulders and understood that she could maintain her sense of self, especially that she could maintain it when Jane wanted her to step into line with her ideas. And I even liked Jane, poor messed up Jane, who was silly and delusional, and ended up with a life that she will surely regret.

A very solid historical fiction.

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