CM . . .
. Volume XVI Number 24. . . .February 26, 2010
When his best friend, Leah, announces that, for her sixteenth birthday, her mother is giving her breast augmentation surgery, the normally boob-crazy Jack is aghast. Determined to convince Leah that she looks great the way she is –– despite her objections –– Jack takes on a research project: to learn about the pros and cons of cosmetic surgery. When his protest makes national headlines –– and then becomes violent –– Jack must figure out how to salvage his research and to use his new knowledge to earn back Leah’s friendship.
Plastic, a new hi-lo offering by Sarah N. Harvey, is a fast, funny, and interesting story about what is, perhaps, an unexpected topic for a YA novel: plastic surgery for young adults. Plastic contains interesting information on elective cosmetic surgery, including its potential complications (and the fact that women with implants become far more likely to commit suicide).
The story is told from the perspective of Jack, the best friend of Leah whose mother is pressuring her to get a breast augmentation. At first, Jack sounds like a “typical” heterosexual teenage boy: he is obsessed with girls’ breasts. In fact, he keeps a meticulous record of preferred boobs, much to Leah’s disgust! However, throughout the course of the story, Jack turns out to be a quirky character who cries easily, keeps a log of his dirty dishes in his room, and will go to any lengths to protect his best friend. His effort to draw attention to the complex issue of plastic surgery makes him realize the dangers of objectifying girls’ and women’s bodies and, as a result, he disposes of his boob book …… and regains his relationship with his best friend.
Pam Klassen-Dueck teaches high school English in Altona, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.