What Gloria Wants
Kristin Butcher writes novels for young adults. Her most recent works
are The Trouble with Liberty, Zee’s Way, and Chat Room.
As much as parents might wish otherwise, children grow up, a fact of
life which generally involves anguish and angst for everyone. What
Gloria Wants is a first-hand account of the process. Not the entire
process—just the part where Gloria gets her first boyfriend, discovers
her sexual self, and asserts her independence.
Fourteen and entering high school, Gloria and her best friend, Shawna,
fantasize about getting boyfriends, double-dating, and making out. The
girls assume Shawna will be the first to snare a guy—mostly because
Shawna says so. She dominates the friendship, and Gloria generally
accedes to Shawna’s wishes. But to the surprise of both, it is Gloria
who gets a boyfriend. In fact, she snags Marc Le Clare, the cutest boy
in Grade 9. This causes a rift between the friends, and Gloria goes from
being manipulated by Shawna to being manipulated by Marc. When Marc
pushes too hard, however, Gloria finally makes a stand.
What Gloria Wants is the sort of book adolescent girls gobble up. It is
told by Gloria, who puts into words all the fantasies, insecurities, and
emotions young female readers are experiencing themselves. They will
relate completely to Gloria’s conflicts—internal and external, and
they will applaud the strength of character she exhibits in the end. To
sweeten the pot even more, the novel contains just enough sexy bits to
set teen hearts and imaginations racing. Recommended.