Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty

 
Sweet core, despite drugs and sex references.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Main character is a skateboarding valedictorian who loves to read. She won't act stupid just to get a boy's attention. Bad-girl Amber hides a (good) secret. Teens lie to their parents. Geena calls her dad's new girlfriend a bimborama and bimbocile. A group of girls get revenge on a boy. The girls serve a disgusting drink to a rude patron at the coffee shop.

Violence

Threatened fight between boys at a fast-food restaurant.

Sex

Many sexual references, including a character's nickname (Blowjob Beezie) and boys calling girls "cock tease" and "ho." The girls attend a "pimps and hos" party wearing "whoring clothes" and "hoochie-mama dance grooves." "Every female wants to do" a handsome boy. Geena thinks she is the "only sophomore-nearly-junior on the planet who hasn't been to third base." One boy tells another, "Suck this" and grabs his crotch. A character's sister sleeps with her older married professor. Topless pictures taken with a cell phone are posted on MySpace. Additional references to orgies, beer sluts, and exchanging sexual favors for crack.

Language

The language is most offensive when boys use derogatory sexual terms to insult girls ("p---y," "c--t," "bitch"). Other language includes "sucks ass," "phone pole up her butt," "s--t," "t-ts," "pissed," "pimps," "hos," and "f--k off."

Consumerism

Much of the book involves buying coffee drinks. Lots of products are mentioned by name: iPod, MySpace, YouTube, specific cars, types of wines, fast food chains, soda drinks, and clothing designers.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A party includes rooms for "smoking, thizzing, Jell-O shots, and sixty-nine" lots of drinking (champagne, Crantini, Screwdriver, Cuba Libre, sangria). Characters get drunk and puke. References bong hits, THC, dropping acid, and sniffing Wite-Out. One social group is called the "stofers" for stoner-surfers. Parents drink ("got a little wasted on red wine") and serve wine to teens. One boy has a fake ID. A character smokes a cigarette.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that drinking, casual sex, and drug use are presented as common teen behaviors; in two cases, parents give teens glasses of wine. Girls deal with boys calling them demeaning names and treating them as sex objects. The 16-year-old main character is a straight-A student with a good attitude. The author weaves brand names throughout the story, from soda drinks to cars to types of wine.

What's the story?

Sixteen-year-old Geena plans to spend her summer working at the Triple Shot Betty coffee shack, skateboarding, and hanging out with her best friend Amber and her favorite cousin Hero. The girl bonding doesn't go so well, though, so Geena has plenty to fill her diary: friends who hate one another; a flaky, divorced dad; and Ben, her long-time but very cute academic nemesis and potential crush.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The book's Sonoma Valley estate setting and casual references to blow jobs and thizzing might lead some to think this is Gossip Girl, California-style. Wrapped in a sometimes raunchy exterior, though, is a sweet core, grounded by its authentic first-person narrator. Even its resident bad-girl, Amber, turns out to have an innocent secret.

Geena is smart, funny, and not afraid to flip off boys who hassle her while she is skateboarding. She avoids "indulging in normal teen activities, like drinking beer, smoking bud, and having sloppy sex in parking lots." She explores the line between feeling sexy on her own terms and feeling exploited by boys. A kiss is still romantic. While the handsome villain -- and his comeuppance -- are a bit over the top, teens will enjoy the grrl power ending.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether there is a double standard for boys' and girls' reputations. How do teens decide which rumors are true? Do teens think "everyone" is drinking, having sex, and smoking pot? Families can also discuss how easy it is to post cell-phone pictures on the Internet. Do you know anyone who has been embarrassed by photos posted of them?

Book details

Author:Jody Gehrman
Genre:Friendship
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Dial Books
Publication date:April 17, 2008
Number of pages:255
Publisher's recommended age(s):13 - 17
Read aloud:15
Read alone:15

This review of Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written bysandi96 February 24, 2011
age 12+
 

good for learning purposes

I read this book when i was 12 and i really enjoyed it. It DOES send positive messages if the reader interpretes it well. Its pretty accurate and is a good story for a young teen to read. Parents need to stop being so over protective because kids need to make mistakes and learn from them. And although my parents don't know it, ive already been exposed to sexual activities and know lots of ppl who arent virgins and i even had a crush on a guy who turned out to be a pot dealer(i know how bad drugs are so i left him alone all together).
Teen, 15 years old Written byluvv May 25, 2010
age 2+
 
this book is surprisingly better than it looks, and even sounds. now im going to try to say this with out ruining the book... there arent very good role modles in this AT ALL. thats my only big concern...other wise enjoy. plus this book gives good life lessons, you can learn from the characters mistakes!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byKatherineLovesJake August 12, 2010
age 12+
 

too much mention of sex

ummmm....a bit sexual....but its still a great book!
What other families should know
Too much sex

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