Kill All Happies

img_20180625_2245571img_20180625_224626New high school graduates Vic, Fletch, and Slick have been best friends since kindergarten and constitute a tight clique they call the Cuddle Huddle (though they are friends with others also and have divergent gifts and interests).  They live in a nowheresville desert town about an hour from Las Vegas whose only claim to fame is an aging restaurant and attached, long-since-closed down amusement park.  The crusty owner of the place is finally selling out and retiring but calls Vic and gives her carte blanche to stage a blowout graduation party.  Vic realizes this must be done  without giving the town witch, someone named Miss Ann Thrope, a chance to shut them down.

Although on the surface it seems a light-hearted romp, it contains some thoughtful observations about friendship, finding your own voice, taking responsibility, respecting others, not putting people in boxes, etc.  The story is reasonably involved and well-plotted and the characters uniquely realized.  They learn things about themselves and others and are better for it.  It is fundamentally a sweet story.

But, it is an R-rated “High School Musical.”  Casual sex abounds, the most-repeated word in the book is no doubt f*** (in all its variations), and there is a lot of drinking and pot-smoking.  There are some gay characters in the book and their orientation is treated matter-of-factly.  I wouldn’t put it on a school library shelf where inclusion might seem to endorse these behaviors but . . . it is a good little story, well-told.

Categories: Addiction, Controversial YA Topics, LGBTQIA, Navigating through High School, Peer Relationships

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