by Kirsten Smith
To be published by Little, Brown BFYR
on March 12, 2013
Source: e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley for possible review. Please see my FTC disclosure to the right on the sidebar.
Connect with the author: website: Twitter.
Summary (adapted from Goodreads:) Sixteen-year-old Moe's Shoplifters Anonymous meetings are usually punctuated by the snores of an old man and the whining of the world's unhappiest housewife. Until the day that Tabitha Foster and Elodie Shaw walk in. Tabitha has just about everything she wants: money, friends, popularity, a hot boyfriend who worships her...and clearly a yen for stealing. So does Elodie, who, despite her goodie-two-shoes attitude pretty much has "klepto" written across her forehead in indelible marker. But both of them are nothing compared to Moe, a bad girl with an even worse reputation. Tabitha, Elodie, and Moe: a beauty queen, a wallflower, and a burnout -- a more unlikely trio high school has rarely seen. And yet, when Tabitha challenges them to a steal-off, so begins a strange alliance linked by the thrill of stealing and the reasons that spawn it.
My take: It was an interesting experience to read this immediately after Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein, which I reviewed on Saturday. Both Trinkets and the Pretty Amy/Dear Cassie books deal with a trio of girls who get busted. All feature realistic teen characters and a lot of humor.
There are some differences, too. In Pretty Amy and Dear Cassie, we see three friends driven apart after their arrest, while in Trinkets, the girls' relationship develops after they get in trouble. While Burstein decided to devote a complete book to each character, Trinkets is the story of all three girls. There's Tabitha, the popular princess, Elodie, the shy new girl, and Moe, the girl with the home-dyed hair who hangs with the burn-outs because that way "no one effs with you." Are you getting a Breakfast Club vibe here? Me too. Which is a good thing, as far as I'm concerned.
The book is narrated by all three girls in alternating points of view. I was initially alarmed because Elodie's chapters are in verse. While I love poetry, I've found that YA books in verse are really not for me. Luckily for me, Moe's and Tabitha's POVs are in regular prose. While I didn't love the verse, it did help me remember whose head I was in.
The three girls, who don't travel in the same social circles at school, come to know one another through the shoplifters' support group. And, of course, they discover that they actually have a lot in common. Trinkets gives each girl a quickly sketched backstory -- each has parents who fall into what I'm now officially calling the Five D's of YA Parents: Dead, Divorced, Distant, Drunk, or Distracted. Moe's parents are dead and she and her brother are being raised by an aunt. Tabitha's are unhappily married and distant and her mom has a drinking problem. Elodie's mom died and her dad is distracted by his new wife.
Trinkets has the charm and humor of a good chick flick. I picked the book up at a time when I was tired and a little grumpy and this kind of story was exactly what I needed. This book is funny -- laugh-out-loud funny in parts. The book's not squeaky-clean, reflecting the way a lot of kids really talk -- but nothing that's out of the bounds of a typical YA. And even though the book's premise and characters are familiar ones, the plot took a couple of turns and twists that I wasn't expecting. Trinkets was a fun and enjoyable read and I recommend it to readers who like realistic YA that's more glossy than gritty, with a strong dose of humor and fun.
Edited to add: After Bookworm1858's comment, I should add that yes, there is romance in the book for all three girls, and charming John Hughes-style romance at that. Tabitha has a really awful boyfriend, Moe is in love with the popular boy across the street, and Elodie is really shy and a little awkward. But to me, the girls' friendship was the central part of the story.