I have to admit, I almost didn’t pick up this book. It was the cover. No offence to the artist involved, but this book’s cover just screams bubblegum teeny bopper…in fact, it has two girls surrounded by balloons, blowing bubble gum. THEN I saw the author’s name: Sue Limb. And I knew I had to pick it up and read it and love it.
The book is Zoe and Chloe on the Prowl (Viking, 2008), and the author, Sue Limb, is one of the funniest young adult authors I’ve ever read. If you’ve never read anything by her before, then you’re in for a treat. She’s British, and has a sharp tongue, and her books have the added benefit of being clean, meaning any teacher or librarian can recommend her titles to any tween or teen with confidence. Best of all, she will make you laugh. Not grin. But LAUGH. As in OUT LOUD. As in when you should be serious and quiet, like while sitting in a doctor’s office. Or, in my daughter’s case, when you are sitting at your desk and should really be doing some assigned task instead of sneakily reading a book under your papers.
In Zoe and Chloe on the Prowl, the lead characters are trying desperately to find some “real men” to take them to the school’s Earthquake Ball. Of course, none of the infantile boys at their school will do. The solution? Why advertising, of course. The girls set up ads all over town, not for dates, but for what seems like a respectable job. As the interviewees start to visit, and the girls pose as employers, the wackiness accelerates. Hey, you know you’re in for a hysterical ride when, right at the start of the book, you are introduced to a character named Nigel, who is actually a zit on one of the girls’ chins. Apparently he’s prominent enough in her life to have a name. The book is set in England, and the slang only adds to the zany tone. So read this book and try not to laugh out loud. I dare you.
And while you are at it, be sure to check out Limb’s other really hysterical young adult novels, starting with Girl, 15, Charming but Insane.Ever wondered what would happen to a girl when she stuffs her bra with zip-locks full of minestrone soup? Well, here’s your chance to find out. All of Limb’s novels are smart, and hip, and suited for tweens through teens. Enjoy them all.