Bliss is not your average country gal. Although she may have to live in a small Texas town (due to the fact, you know, her parents want to...) she knows she has no desire to fit in. She's got blue hair, a punk rock attitude, and the desire to seek out the different. This is all sort of a problem since her mother is completely obsessed with beauty pageants. And not only with her own beauty pageant past, but she also insists on entering Bliss into them. Pageants that Bliss never, ever, ever wins. So when the opportunity presents itself to skip off to Austin and try out for the all female roller derby league. Bliss jumps at the chance.
This book is set in the fictional town of Bodeen, Texas, which claims fame as the maker of Bluebonnet Ice Cream. Maybe the reason it took awhile for Bliss to win me over is that she was so hard on the tourists that came to visit the Bluebonnet Ice Cream Factory. I recognized that Bodeen was based on Brenham, where the very real (and extremely yummy) Bluebell Ice Cream Factory is located. You know, where they eat all the ice cream they can and sell the rest. A place where I would LOVE to visit. I mean - wouldn't you want to see an ice cream factory in action and then sample all the yummy flavors? Although now that I've looked at the Bluebell website it shows you only get one scoop of ice cream. That's totally lame. Only one lousy scoop? But if it was their Chocolate Covered Strawberries ice cream, it might be ok...
So yes, Bliss took awhile to win me over. But won over I was. I could have done without a few of the "what's cool" lectures, I'm not sure they were entirely necessary - they certainly annoyed me more than anything, but on the whole this is a cute book. And if you can make it through the first half you'll be rewarded with with angsty goodness like dealing with parents who don't understand, growing apart from your best friend, and hot boys who just might break your heart. The author's enthusiasm for the roller derby really shows in the derby action sequences. They were really well written, super fun, and I felt like I was there in the stands. Bliss' love interest, a hot musician she nicknames Senor Smolder, also makes for some great reading. And, last but certainly not least is Bliss' mother - a total hoot of a character.
It's also being made into a movie directed by Drew Barrymore and starring Ellen Page. Who, by the way, is a fantastic choice to play Bliss. I wonder who they'll get to play Bliss' mother. That would be a fantastic role. She's just so over the top that her character will translate particularly well onto the big screen.