Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty
By Stephanie Dunnewind,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Sweet core, despite drugs and sex references.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
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 & Scariness
Threatened fight between boys at a fast-food restaurant.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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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."
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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.
Where to Read
Based on 2 parent reviews
no literary value
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Not for me and not for middle schoolers
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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?
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.
Talk to Your Kids 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?
- Author: Jody Gehrman
- Genre: Friendship
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Dial Books
- Publication date: April 17, 2008
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 13 - 17
- Number of pages: 255
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
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