Monday, June 02, 2008

Book Review: The Always Friends Club Hello Jenny!

If you love to hate the popular girl cliques, “Hello Jenny!,” a delectable comedy in which the great junior high club "The Always Friends" face trials and tribulations following the return of a long-lost member. This novel is a sinfully delicious bonbon.

As the story plays out, age-old tricks are played with thirteen year old hijinks. A purloined letter is now a source for jealousy and blind rage. Instead of people hiding behind doors and in closets, we get the transformation of a large abandoned Victorian and a mother's new paramour.

Subplots and subsidiary characters multiply. One of the wittiest subplots involves the exiled Always Friends Club president, Jenny, who can’t believe that her friends are fighting over a trip to Lake Tahoe.

Because its structure and the targets of its commentary — jealousy, greed and dishonesty — hark back to Molière, “Hello, Jenny!” offers a reassuring vision of a fixed social order, bourgeois to the core, in which virtue is rewarded and hubris exposed. For all its cynicism about posters, sleepovers and home renovation, it doesn’t rock any boats.

In between are high-flying birds like Cricket, a free spirit, fending for herself. She may have few illusions, but she still has enough integrity to recognize and respect the decency of her fellow Always Friends in deception.

1 comment:

Young Han said...

I feel that Hello Jenny! was a disappointing venture on the part of Susan Meyers. Ultimately, she neither treads new ground nor explores new and haunting vistas. There is nothing to indicate that we may expect greater things from Meyers in the future.