Tag Archives: Brooke Berlin

You Had Me at Ms. Chanandalar Bong

So, when I heard that the lovely ladies of Go Fug Yourself had written an YA novel, I immediately added it to my wishlist, knowing that I needed it in my life.  Their blog is delightfully snarky, and this book is 360 pages of the same awesome.   When my copy of Spoiled (Poppy 2011) arrived in the mail, I clapped with glee.  I flaunted it to my friends who did not have a copy yet.  And I counted the minutes until I could go home and read it (to the detriment of extremely necessary post-vacation grocery shopping and gym-going, I might add).  I was only a few pages in, and there was a disparaging remark about rompers, apparel that seems inappropriate on anyone who is not a toddler.  And then another about high-waisted jeans, an unfortunate fashion phase I know we’re all glad to have left in our wake.  And finally, the cherry on top, the icing on the cake, a reference to Ms. Chanandalar Bong.  That is when I knew that I might be the mayor of the target audience, and that this book, like gum in an ATM vestibule, would be perfection.

Enter Brooke Berlin, daughter of a Hollywood A-lister and starlet-in-the-making.  (Well, she’s doing her best, no thanks to dear old dad.)  Enter Brick Berlin, Brooke’s dad and said Hollywood A-lister.  Enter Molly Dix, Brick’s secret love-child who comes to live with them in LA.  Brick approaches this new family dynamic with the enthusiasm of a golden retriever.  Brooke schemes to get rid of the interloper with a determination rivaling that of Tonya Harding.  SHENANIGANS ENSUE.

Heather and Jessica’s trademark wit and humor make this a great read.  The plot is intriguing, so it sucks you right in.  Molly and Brooke are fun characters, and even when they’re not likable, they are certainly relatable (well, except the bit where they run into Matthew McConoughey at yoga).  It’s a thoughtful book, too.  The English major inside me loves the many ways that the title applies – spoiled rich kids, spoiled relationships, spoiled accessories.  Seriously, the list could go on and on.  I also appreciated the parallel of Molly’s rags-to-riches story and the production of My Fair Lady, starring Brooke.  Sadly, Brooke does not pick up on it.

This is Mean Girls mixed with a little bit of What a Girl Wants with a splash of Parent Trap, and topped with a healthy dollop of Sweet Valley High.  Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield should be proud to have this as a part of their YA legacy.

I love this book like a fat kid loves cake.  Or like Tyra Banks loves a jumpsuit.  Or like the authors love Diet Coke and sandwiches.