Former MTV VJ Kennedy has never been one to shy away from stating her opinions, and she packs a passel of her funny, funky philosophy into Hey Ladies: Tales and Tips for Curious Girls. As a self-proclaimed teenage dork and late bloomer, Kennedy positions herself as someone who's "been there." She offers advice to teen women in the trenches on matters both trivial and traumatic. From dancing to dating, smoking to smooching, pimples to prom, beer to breast size, the author shares her personal experiences--both nightmarish and noble--in the hope that young readers will feel less alone.
Kennedy's counsel goes beyond treating traditional adolescent agonies. She also recommends wearing sensible footwear (blaming her "shoeful of piggies that resemble a radiation accident" on pointy shoes); emphasizes the benefits of learning new languages ("the best Filet-O-Fish I've ever had was in Japan"); and advocates listening to and learning from our grandmothers (who "know how to dress, know how to be polite, and can act like senile fools just so they can blurt out what they really think of someone").
Not all of Kennedy's advice is kindhearted. There's a decidedly bitter Revenge of the Nerds slant to some of her wisdom, such as her philosophy on "popular girls," about whom she claims, "I have seen just about every cute prima ballerina, party girl, rich chick (whatever you call these mutants) plummet into obscurity and yuckiness in as short as eight weeks upon graduation from high school." She adds, embracing the intolerance she abhorred in her teen years, "A young woman who is snotty, full-figured, flirtatious, bitchy, clear-skinned, and rich is as good as the algae on pond rocks the second she leaves for higher education." But this sassy, cynical tone is exactly what has won her so many fans, so you can bet Hey Ladies will earn her many more. (Ages 12 and older) --Brangien Davis