Sarah's Stars

Lynn Messina. Savvy Girl
Harcourt $7.95 ISBN 978-0-15-206161-6  252 pg.
Reviewed by Lindsey, Age 14

It's only now that I'm in my hometown, a few feet away from a waiting cab, that I realize Graham doesn't live anywhere near here. His home is many miles away in Great Neck. It's like another universe completely. I can't imagine how you get there from here. Go back to Jamaica and transfer to another line? Wait for another train? How unfair. I am minutes from my bed and he is hours.

The full weight of what he did hits me then, and I start to run after him just as the cabbie honks his horn. "Hey lady," he says, "do you wanna ride or what? We don't got all night."

Exhausted and in physical pain (my head, my feet, my neck), I look over my shoulder. The driver is standing by his car, which is already running, and pointing to his watch. In the glare of the parking lot lights I can see two other people in the backseat. Waiting. For me. So I stop running and call out thank you, but Graham has already disappeared up the escalator.

It's summer in New York City and for most teenagers that means shopping, tanning, sleeping and partying. Well, for Chrissy Gibbons that's all true, but she also has to balance her prestigious internship at Savvy, her favourite magazine. Savvy is chock-full of cute styles, gorgeous hair and makeup, flirting tricks and fun, interesting articles. It's a dream come true to work there but as the summer wears on and Chrissy is swept up into the glamorous whirlwind of haute couture, deadlines, cute boys, models and hot celebrity-studded parties, she slowly begins to slip away from her friends and family. But is the chance to be a columnist for a famous magazine more important than everything she thought was important?

Savvy Girl, while not the most original novel of the year, still kept me reading. The premise of a magazine internship in the Big Apple has been done to death but the book's charming characters and fun atmosphere drew me in. But then again, I happen to be a sucker for glitzy stories about New York. Let's face it, lots of people are. If they weren't, stories and shows like Gossip Girl, Ugly Betty and The Devil Wears Prada wouldn't be so popular. But does Lynn Messina add enough uniqueness to her novel to make it stand out from the crowd? Well, maybe not so much. First off, we know from the very first page what is going to happen. Chrissy will start her internship smiling and happy and she'll make the mistake of ditching her best friend for a party. Of course it's no big deal though. But then it happens again, and again, and again...

Then Chrissy will meet a cute new guy. But obviously he'll turn out to be a major jerk. And we hardly need to hold our breath for the announcement of who won the spot of Teen Columnist for Savvy. Who else but our protagonist could be qualified for the job? And after a well-timed epiphany, Chrissy will realize how shallow she's been acting lately but all she has to do is 'fess up and apologize and all will be right with the world again. But hey, as the bleakness of winter settles in, maybe a cute, breezy story about a hot summer in New York will be just what a savvy teenager needs to keep warm. Don't write off Savvy Girl at first glance, because with a little bit of patience, I'm sure it will please.

I give Lynn Messina's Savvy Girl a solid three stars out of five.


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