I haven’t read this book probably since high school or possibly college. It’s aged sort of weirdly. It’s like many young adult novels are nowadays, full of drama and bad parents and girls getting pregnant. However, unlike books nowadays, the teen who gets pregnant doesn’t have the legal abortion option, so the drama is even more dramatic and depressing.
Zindel always had a good ear for kid/parent interactions and each of these kids is so clearly a product of their weird families and the baggage that they bring into their young adulthood. At its core, it’s the story of two girls who are friends, the popular one with the terrible stepfather and the dumpy one with the decent family. The popular one is mean to the dumpy one, etc etc. I still enjoyed it, quick read that it was because the kids seem so teenlike. Even though I’m now reading it through an adult’s eyes, it really felt like the high school that I remember, hellish and dramatic and not as big a deal as I thought it was at the time.