Author: Jenny Pollack
Published: Penguin Books (2006)
Pages: 288 (paperback)
Once you start doing something fun, it’s hard to stop, whether it’s reading a fantastic book, watching an awesome movie … or pinching clothes from retail stores.
Julie B. has everything that Julie P. doesn’t. She has a carefree mother, adoring brothers and sisters, and a to-die-for wardrobe. Julie P. can’t shop at expensive stores and feels like her family is average. They become friends instantly, but Julie P. knows that they live in two different worlds.
That is until she learns the secret to Julie B.’s wonderful clothes. When Julie P. learns that Julie B. steals most of her clothes, she decides to try it, too. Soon pinching, or shoplifting, becomes a daily thing. The two Julies start stealing together, and soon Julie P. has more new clothes than she can wear — and a lot of attention from popular guys.
Stealing starts to become an addiction for Julie P. But as stealing gets to be more and more risky, she starts to realize that it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But can she really stop just like that? Will she be able to keep her best friend if she quits? Is she becoming a kleptomaniac?
This book takes place in the ‘80’s and author Jenny Pollack does a great job of using the slang and terms of that day. Her characters greet each other with “Hi ya” or “Whataja doin,” and when they hear something surprising they say “get outta town.” Pollack also does a fabulous job of understanding the teenage mind. The way she relates to teens and their true problems is what makes this book appealing.
“Klepto” made me LOL, which books usually don’t do. Jenny Pollack has a good sense of humor, which she incorporated into her story. In this funny scene, the two Julies and two of their friends, Jennifer and Gordon, have just stolen from Macy’s and are showing off what they got at The Aristotle’s Coffee Shop:
“Did you get that sweater?” I asked Jennifer, lowering my voice.
“Nah, I got a different one. Orange and blue cableknit,” she said, half pulling it out of the bag to show us. “It fit much better. I think it was like fifty dollars or something.” She grinned and took a slice of pickle from the dish on the table.
“Oh my God!” I said, giggling. “That is so cool!”
“Check you out, missy!” Gordon said. “Miss Silk Skirt.”
“Mr. Leather Gloves!” Julie and I said in unison.
“Shut up!” Gordon said, looking around, trying not to laugh. “You’re gonna make me paranoid.”
I think the only part of the book I hated was the ending! It is cheesy, compared to the rest of the book, which is pretty realistic.
I would still recommend this book to anybody over the age of 13. It deals with real teen issues, like stealing and kissing, and there is some minor cussing that younger readers’ parents might not approve of. The cover is attractive to a girl, but boys, you could read it too — don’t be scared of the pink cover!
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