Parents' Guide to

Bass Ackwards and Belly Up

By Stephanie Dunnewind, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Girls take a year off for plenty of iffy behavior.

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What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Teens who wonder why they're going to college when they have no idea what they want to do with their lives may identify with the characters' desire to travel or try a career first. The book doesn't offer easy success, though, as Harper struggles with her literary aspirations and Sophie waits tables while auditioning for commercials. Girls with their own BFFs will appreciate the foursome's strong bonds, even while miles apart.

However, despite cribbing an obvious page from Ann Brashares' superior The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Bass Ackwards doesn't recreate Sisterhood's magic with its four main characters. That's because Sisterhood's charm stemmed from its relatable characters, while Bass Ackwards expects readers to identify with self-absorbed, gorgeous high school grads who whine because they have to go to Harvard. Sophie is especially grating as she expects worship by all men, including the movie star she's dating after a month in L.A. Their actions often seem contrary to their personalities, and the men in their lives are unusually eager to put up with their shenanigans.

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