Monday, December 21, 2015

Book Review: Cher and Cher Alike

(Reclaimed from Blogjob, where the "long-tailed tags" were Clueless series, Jane Austen’s EmmaMary Shelley’s Frankenstein,remakes of classic novels,teen slang and fads,television comedy.)

Title: Cher and Cher Alike
Author: H.B. Gilmour
Date: 1997
Publisher: Pocket Books
ISBN: 0-671-01161-8
Length: 163 pages
Quote: “Raphael...had one fatal flaw. He was in my class.”
The original Clueless movie, a remake of Jane Austen’s Emma, inspired a TV series in which the popular crowd at Bronson Alcott High School relived teen-sized versions of other classic novels. In Cher and Cher Alike, while Cher is planning to go to the Halloween dance with an older boy, a less popular girl whose name happens to be Sharon begs Cher to give her a makeover. Within hours Sharon, or “Shar,” is imitating Cher so perfectly that even their school friends aren’t sure which miniskirted blonde they’re hailing in a crowd...and Cher realizes she’s reliving Frankenstein.
Cher has to admit that her addiction to making people over has taken on Frankenstein proportions when she asks the older boy to cancel his plans with her and take Shar instead. Not that Shar is even grateful. In fact, when Raphael fawns on Cher, Shar becomes downright hostile. Anybody less blinkered than Cher would almost think Shar preferred the younger boy. Prefer an eleventh grade boy to a twelfth grade boy? As in...actually like someone you date, in high school?
But all’s well that ends well in these books. All the romances are light and age-appropriate, and no matter how dramatically they quarrel, Cher’s real friends, De and Josh, will never desert her. The special dialect Gilmour invented for Cher and her friends, an Austen-inspired mix of teen slang, S.A.T. words, and headings from the catalogs and magazines the rich girls study, sparkles throughout each volume and makes every page even funnier than the show was. (“Ten out of ten Alcott graduates go to college, most of them in chauffeured limos packed with Vuitton luggage, cutting-edge audiovisual equipment, and huge baskets of munchies from like the Gourmet Chalet in Hollywood...”)
There may be parents who’d like to see the Clueless kids get just one tiny hint that there’s more to life than having the latest fad. Hello, did Jane Austen ever give a character such a mind-blowing experience? Not even. Teen readers have to notice for themselves how shallow and tacky these basically decent, basically sensible, but overindulged kids are. Fortunately that’s easy.
 Sadly, H.B. Gilmour no longer has any use for a dollar. More happily, some of her Clueless collaborators do, so if you buy other books in the series you can consolidate the $5 per package shipping cost and send 10% of the total cost to another deserving author (or a charity of the author's choice). Payment may be sent to either address at the bottom of the screen, below the Amazon gift card widget: $5 per book, $5 per package, $1 per online payment. (There's a surcharge for more secure postal money orders, too, but the U.S. Post Office will collect that, so you send us only $10 for one copy of this book, or $45 for eight Clueless books.)