Book #14

The Bitch Goddess Notebook by Martha O'Connor

In a small-town high school in 1988, three misfit girls join forces to form the Bitch Goddesses, a take-no-prisoners gang of fierce teenage rebellion. Rennie, the stunningly attractive straight-A student, finds herself way out of her depth when she embarks on an affair with her married teacher. Cherry builds a shrine to Princess Diana in her bedroom while nursing her hippy mother through her coke-fuelled rages. Amy tears up her cheerleader's uniform while her drunken parents concentrate on presenting a facade of perfect family life to the outside world. The three girls swear to stick together, whatever life throws at them, until one night when something so horrific happens it shatters their friendship for ever. Fifteen years on, Rennie is a writer living in New York, struggling to keep her life on track and hiding an erotic obsession. In her Lake Superior show-home, a heavily pregnant Amy is certain that her husband is cheating on her and that she is jinxed by her past. Cherry, a model patient in an institution, suffers horrific nightmares of four red letters carved on human skin. The Bitch Goddesses may have grown up, but one way or another they must come to terms with a shared past...

There were disclaimers all over the outsides and insides of this book, screaming that it's not chick-lit, no, it's anti-chick-lit! Well, O'Connor, I do apologise, but this is my idea of chick-lit. I am aware your characters are snorting coke and cutting themselves, but it reads like chick-lit.

It didn't take me very long to read, which is almost always an indication that something's amiss.

It dealt with extremely heavy issues - abortion, teacher/student relationships, alcoholism, drug abuse and more, but they were all seeped in melodrama. I found myself cringing constantly during the self-harm scenes where O'Connor almost glorified this addiction, romanticising it to a ridiculous degree.

I did like how the narrative was shared between the three girls in 1988, and again in 2003, giving a bit of variety and character depth, but this book had potential to be so much more.

The ending of the book was supposed to be draped in mystery, but I had it all worked out before long. I felt like someone had wrapped my birthday present up in cling film.

I wouldn't recommend. If you want to borrow it from me, you can keep it.

14 / 66 books. 21% done!