The Blonde of the Joke
By Bennett Madison
(HarperTeen, Hardcover, 9780061255601, 272pp.)
Publication Date: September 2009
"There are three and only three rules for shoplifting," Francie instructed me.
From the very first day Val meets the outrageously blond Francie, she realizes that Francie has the gutsy courage and determination Val has always envied. But Francie sees something in Val too—something that Val's never noticed. "You've got that sneaky thing about you," she says. "I bet you have a dark past."
And just like that, the blonde and the brunette become partners in crime.
Thanks to Francie, Val is suddenly taking risks, taking charge, and taking what she deserves. But as the stakes get higher, Francie and Val find themselves more and more tangled in a thrilling web of love, lies, and shoplifting. Soon it becomes clear that the darkest secrets have yet to be discovered. . . .
“Madison’s dreamlike prose imbues the most ordinary moments with cosmic significance. Readers will soak up every bit.”
“A ridiculous, riotous, tongue-in-cheek mad dash through the mall where everything is not as it seems and where the cheap jokes and the bounty grow like apples on trees.”
“Madison’s honest and darkly comic prose takes this mall-rat tale to mythical heights. The punchline is definitely bittersweet and will leave a good many readers anticipating Madison’s next book.”
“The Blonde of the Joke turns a dull suburban landscape into a mythical place, full of treasure, inner demons, and transformations. Bennett Madison is one of the best YA writers around and this is his sharpest book to date.”
-Maureen Johnson, author of Suite Scarlett and 13 Little Blue Envelopes
“This wickedly funny novel has it all—style, depth, bite, and a punch line you won’t be able to forget.”
-Sarah Mlynowski, co-author of How to be Bad
“A delightfully wicked book—a supersexy celebration of good girls gone bad, and a haunting ode to teenage rebellion.”
-James St. James, author of Freak Show
“Off-kilter humor, moody narration, and twisted psychology make this sardonic exploration of suburbia thrilling-like pocketing lip gloss and walking right out of the store.”
-School Library Journal
“You will fall in love with The Blonde of the Joke the moment you enter its mall-wandering, skater-boy loving, dark secret-hiding world. Poetic and punchy, sarcastic and true, I gobbled this up and was left wanting so much more.”
-Sara Shepard, author of the New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series