Girl to the Core
Stacey Goldblatt

Hardcover/304 pages
ISBN: 978-0-385-73609-1
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". . . an excellent example of positive reinforcement set among interesting and authentic characters . . ."

Girl to the Core: Excellent portrayal of a confused teenager in the grips of hormones, peer pressure and possibilities.

Molly still can’t believe that handsome, popular and talented Trevor likes her, plain Jane that she is, but she’s riding the emotions and highs. After all, Trevor says he loves her, and she loves him. So why doesn’t she feel right about giving in and taking the next step?

While Molly has been spending all of her time with Trevor, she has neglected her best friend Vanessa and her family (father, grandfather, three uncles and an aunt who owns a pub, the Banshee’s Wake). She feels a little guilty about ignoring them to be with Trevor but not guilty enough to stop seeing him. Trevor pushes for sex, and Molly puts on the brakes. She does love him but still she hesitates.

On the night Molly decides to give in, her next door neighbor lady rushes over to ask a favor. Her mother fell and was taken to the hospital, and she needs Molly to watch her daughter Claire for a few hours. Molly weighs the options – watch Claire or be with Trevor? She chooses to watch Claire. After Claire’s mom gets back, Molly gets a call from Vanessa who tells her Trevor is alone at home. Trevor told Molly he was going to hang with his friends, but if he’s alone she could still go see him. When she gets there, the only lights on are the flickering lights of the TV in the den where she and Trevor spent hours making out. She creeps up to the window, pushes through the bushes and looks inside. Trevor is making out with his ex-girlfriend Felicia. Molly feels that her life is over. What is she going to do without him?

From the first paragraph author Stacey Goldblatt sets the tone for the confused and searching voice of Molly in Girl to the Core with clarity and feeling. Molly, Vanessa, Trevor and Molly’s unconventional family are believable and memorable. I could relate to Molly’s emotions and like her have had experience with gung-ho steam rollers like Rhondi, leader of the Girls Corps, who is a little hard to take at times.

The story moves at a steady pace that never falters. The best part of Girl to the Core is watching Molly change from an awkward, insecure and mousy teenager into a budding young woman who finally finds out what she wants. Girl to the Core is an excellent example of positive reinforcement set among interesting and authentic characters. Goldblatt demonstrates a profound knowledge of what it’s like to be a confused and searching teenager.

Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell