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Putting Boys on the Ledge - Stephie Davis

This book has been on my shelf for over ten years (having picked it out of a Scholastics book catalog sometime in my youth solely because the edition I own has a cover with Ken dolls falling through a blue backdrop), I finally got around to reading it.

It's pretty much everything you'd expect from a book about freshman year of high school. The characters are superficial, boy-crazy, and judge their worth on what boys think of them. The plot is predictable and at times the self objectification is painful to read because, while it is realistic and true, there is no message to counter it. Such as Blue glorifying in the thought of Heath thinking of her as attractive since "No one had ever looked at my chest instead of my face" (53). We're talking really high standards here.

Even in scenes where Good Guy Colin plays the ideal high school boy (not forcing Blue to kiss him and waiting for her to verbalize her consent), Blue fights her way back into sexism (by being too embarrassed to actually admit her desires) and tries to get the boys to make decisions for her.

The characters hate other females they view as completion for male attention. For a book about females stepping up and taking charge of relationships, it reads a lot like any other teen book where the girls are overly-dependant on finding relationships (even at the expense of helping their friends).

The narration was funny at times and relatable in terms of self confidence (or lack thereof) but I hate that the book really just accepted the roles without doing much to change that way of viewing things. It is pretty much a standard high school novel about girls learning to navigate the world so they are semi-happy without asserting themselves too much. I did enjoy Blue's final confrontation with Heath, but the ending just wasn't enough for me to think she really grew much as a person from her experience.