Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Book Review: Chronically Crushed

A Fair Trade Book

Title: Chronically Crushed 

Author: Randi Reisfeld

Author's web page: claims that a page for exists, although it's not working today

Date: 1998

Publisher: Pocket Books

ISBN: 0-671-01904-X

Length: 147 pages

Quote: "Amber...was fully brimming with unbridled confidence. 'Tyler...Tyler Sheffield wants me. Cannot, in fact will not, live without me'."

The narrator is, of course, Clueless heroine Cher Horowitz. In all things Clueless a good half of the joke is on Cher for being a self-centered, immature teenybopper, yet Cher is actually one of the brightest and best in her rich-but-ignorant school. Amber is one of the kids who are even more clueless than Cher. (In the movie credits, she was "Nose Job Girl.") Cher and her best friend, Dionne, count Amber as their worst friend, never miss a chance to beat her in any competition, make fun of her and score off her almost constantly, and she's almost dumb and bratty enough to deserve it...yet they did bond as children, and, in a high school social "crisis," they're there for her. And Dionne, the one who has a long-term steady boyfriend, has even been suspected of having some latent common sense.

In the cover picture, Amber is on our left, Cher in the center stage she monopolizes so well, and De is on the right. You can tell them apart because Amber usually makes the most egregious fashion mistakes, but in this book they're all modelling the correct way this web site recommends wearing high-heeled shoes...always in a bedroom, never on the street.

Clueless sequels were all based on plots from classic English novels, adapted to a contemporary high school setting. Which classic novel featuring a heroine whose friends save her from a designing fortune-seeker is this one? There are a few to choose from...anyway, it's high school in the 1990s, so the danger facing Amber is the humiliation of spending a whole weekend at a snob school where her host might be merely using her to make a statement to his ex-girlfriend. Might be, might not be...will Cher and De find out in time to save Amber from embarrassment, and, if so, how?

The whole story is being played for laughs, California style, so no points for guessing how it ends up, but I chortled several times along the way.

If you buy it from the Amazon bookseller who first uploaded the image, in theory I get a small commission, and I'd love to test how well the system works these days. To buy it directly from me, send $5 per book + $5 per package to either of the addresses at the very bottom of the screen. (Scroll past the blog feed.) That "per package" shipping fee means you could throw in five or even seven more Clueless books for a total of $35 or $45 respectively, and I'll send $1 per copy to Reisfeld or a charity of her choice. (Not all of the Clueless books were penned by Randi Reisfeld. The first, and some say the best, were written by the late H.B. Gilmour. If you buy a boxfull, I'll stretch a point in aid of Reisfeld's charity.)

Last winter I designed a doll outfit to match another Clueless book...

...Knitters can still find the instructions on Blogjob. That unique doll, together with a buddy dressed like De on that book cover, was sold last week. I'll dress dolls like Cher, Amber, and possibly De from this book cover, too, if you want them; each outfit will be unique (you can't see much of De's outfit in the picture, but you can see the shade of green and we know Cher and De always wear 1990s teens-only miniskirts) and, assuming dolls 12" high/tall/long or smaller, each outfit will cost $10 online.