Thursday, May 16, 2013

{YA Review} Taming of the Drew by Jan Gurley

{YA Review} Taming of the Drew by Jan Gurley

 “Do NOT buy this book. Stop it. Stop it right now.” --Dean Padua, Legacy High Lemurs

Are you looking for a wild, gender-bending romp of a good time? Taming of the Drew, a full-length novel, is a hilarious update of the Shakespearean classic. Drew is a hotly-recruited high school football jock, nationally known for his prep prowess. But his bad behavior is moving him fast along the path to self-destruction. Enter Kate, a band-geek fellow student who’s clueless about Drew, but is willing to do anything to save the school’s last six redwoods. Including making a hopeless deal to get football-star Drew to behave. Taming of the Drew is for any person who’s ever tried to manage someone they had no hope of controlling!
(Blurb from Goodreads)

{Details}: Press for Change Publishing, Released November 27, 2012, ebook, 420 pages (includes the full text of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew), Source: Amazon

{Stars} 4/5


Kate doesn't do naked.
Pictures that is. Kate and her friends are raising money to save Redwood trees near her school, part of that effort is selling one of a kind pictures to fellow students. Kate is hired to take a picture, naked from the waist up, of 'The Dog', the captain of the football team, most popular guy in school, etc. Of course it's a disaster but that's when things start getting really interesting.

Artsy Kate and jock Drew 'The Dog' or Pitbull, a nickname that comes from his last names, Petruchio-Bullard, couldn't be further apart. Their first few interactions are awkward and cringe inducing, in other words it's all the best, or worst, of high school. At first we see little of Drew as he's taken out of his 'uni' world (filled with all the cool kids) and into 'Academy' with Kate and her friends where he has to take pilates and pottery, talk in front of the class as master the triangle in band. Slowly we get to know Drew but it's worth the wait, he's absolutely lovable despite his dogness. He actually turns out to be pretty awesome. He's a staunch defender of those around him, he's clever and kind and respectful and after that moment at his birthday party? He's perfect.

The last thing Kate expected was to care about Drew.  He was a job to her and then a way to salvation and then he was more. Kate is so torn, wanting so desperately to save her redwoods but coming to care for Drew, knowing that the deal she's made would always come between them. Kate's a less complex character, her goals and motivations are clear, but she's got a lot of learning to do as she ventures outside of her comfortable world and deals with the challenge of Drew and everything that comes with him.

The supporting cast of characters are interesting if a bit over the top. There's tiny Tio, brilliant and scatty Viola, Alex and Robin who keep us guessing, prone to blow-ups Phoebe, quiet gourmet Gonzo, crazy determined Celia and Gremio who also 'doesn't do naked'. 

There are laugh out loud moments, oh my God moments, and heart wrenching moments. Taming of the Drew is well written, clever and beautiful, filled with characters I cared about.

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