Bass Ackwards and Belly Up

I don't quite know where to start with this novel. Did I enjoy it while I was reading it? Yes. Was it basically well-written? Sure. Did I care about what happened to the characters? Usually, yeah.

So why did it leave a kind of bad taste in my mouth?

Maybe it's my own fuddy-duddy nature. A novel that glorifies the pretty stupid idea of giving up one's college plans to follow a heretofore-unnamed (and unknown) dream is not, to my ever-practical heart, the best reading material for me. But mostly I just found the premise unbelievable. Harper's rejection from NYU, and subsequent failure to admit it to anyone? Sad, but kinda pathetic, too. (Who doesn't apply to at least one safety school? Who thinks her parents wouldn't figure it out -- which, thank God, her mother does?) Sophie's starlet dreams are just sad, and her lack of real struggles (oh, no! what ever will I do in this fabulous Beverly Hills house with the hot young movie star *and* the sexy pool boy fighting over me?) made her the least sympathetic character for me. Becca I liked; Kate I liked (though perhaps I identified too closely with her regimented, hyper-planned life). But I just couldn't shake a sense of "um . . . riiiiiiight" throughout the whole thing.

Moments of fun, and a quick read for such a high page count. But overall, just meh.

Bass Ackwards and Belly Up by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain. Little Brown, 2006, 386 pages.

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