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A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl Paperback – June 12, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 9 Up–Three girls succumb to the charms of one sexy high school senior and emerge wiser for the experience in this energetic novel in verse. Josie is a self-assured freshman who values her girlfriends over boys until a hot jock focuses his attention on her and her simmering hormones break into a full boil. Confused by her behavior, yet unable to control her desire, she acts out every romantic cliché she has ever disdained, until the boy drops her and she experiences the chill of rejection. It is Judy Blume's Forever that sparks Josie's fire again, and finding a few blank pages at the back of the library's copy, she sends a warning to the girls of her school. Next readers meet Nicolette, a junior who sees her sexuality as power. A loner, she's caught by surprise at her own reaction when this popular boy takes notice of her. Suddenly she thinks she sees the difference between sex and love, and then, just as suddenly, he's gone. Finally, Aviva, a pretty, smart, artsy, and funny senior, is stunned when the jock seems to want her. She gives up her virginity, only to be disappointed in both the sex and the boy. Furious, Aviva heads to the library to check out Forever, now crammed with the words of girls who suffered the same fate at the hands of the same boy. The free verse gives the stories a breathless, natural flow and changes tone with each narrator. The language is realistic and frank, and, while not graphic, it is filled with descriptions of the teens and their sexuality. This is not a book that will sit quietly on any shelf; it will be passed from girl to girl to girl.–Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System, FL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 10--12. "Sweetie, we call it making love, they don't." Three girls experience heartbreak after a nameless jock dumps each of them. Josie, a freshman, is devastated when she overhears, "Have you nailed her yet?" She escapes with her virginity intact, alerting future victims by scribbling a warning on the blank pages of the library's copy of Judy Blume's Forever. Nicolette, a junior, declares that sex is all about power: "If I say who / and I say when / and I say what / then I/ have it." She's dismayed when she realizes she's not in control this time. Aviva, a senior, loses her virginity after ignoring her friend's warning: "He's^B not^B different. He's playing you.^B" Stone's novel in verse, more poetic prose than poetry, packs a steamy, emotional wallop, and naked dips in a hot tub, oral sex, and sex in a car suggest a mature audience, even though the sex isn't graphic. The lessons learned here, however, are important: the girls realize they'll be hurt again, but they are now "Forewarned / Forearmed / Forever." Cindy Dobrez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 780 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books; Reprint edition (June 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553495097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553495096
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,343,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Laura Ruby on January 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
We all know him - that guy who's so incredible looking, so charming, so seductive we can't seem to keep away even when we sense we should. In "A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl", three different high school girls fall for that guy, each making different, life-altering choices about love and sex in the course of her relationship with him. The gentle, plainspoken poetry of this verse novel sneaks up on you and grabs you just when you're not expecting it, much like the "bad boy" of the title manages to surprise both the reader and the three girls - confident girls who are sure they know who they are. Honest and unflinching, deft in its characterizations and familiar to every girl who's ever gotten mixed up with the wrong guy, "Bad Boy"is direct in its portrayal of teen sexuality without ever being tawdry. How Tanya Stone managed to write a book that's both a cautionary tale and a celebration is beyond me, but she has. This is the kind of book one can learn from, the kind of book that reads like the whispers of older, wiser sisters. I recommend it to teen girls and any woman who remembers the pain, confusion and, yes, exhilaration of falling for a "bad" boy.
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Format: Hardcover
I had my doubts about reading a novel in free verse. However, while reading the poem/novel, I eventually forgot that it was poetry instead of prose. My eyes began to skim over the weird constructions, much as it would if I was reading one of those forwarded email messages where the formatting is all screwed up. Because the story is SO COMPELLING. The characters are real and sympathetic and their plight is so understandable. You want to scream at them to stop doing what they are doing but not in that "idiot girl in a slasher flick going into the basement in her underwear" way. Because you know it doesn't seem stupid, not in the moment, in their position. And you know it's a mistake, all at the same time. You can understand why they make the choices you do, even as you know what they'll think of them later. It's a very powerful book, and it is one that sticks with you and make you think a lot.

I don't know if I remember a lot of the lines because they were in this "poetry" form or because they were the kind of thing that seem ripped out of the young girls' hearts, all bleeding and pulsating.

Give this book a try.
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Format: Paperback
I finally got to read Tanya Lee Stone's "A Bad Boy can be Good for a Girl". I sure wish it would have been around when I was in high school, there where definitely plenty of bad boys. I just wish I could have been as was as Josie. Besides the fact that it was great writing, the book had an excellent message. Even the girls who made mistakes with the boy where not ridiculed or considered bad and they all learned from the experience. It will definitely be highly recommended by me at school. I have a lot of girls who will love it, and a lot of girls who NEED to read it. It is a must for every high school library, and probably even every jr. high library as well.
I give it a 5 star must have rating.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A Bad Boy can be Good for a Girl because you learn exactly what they will say to get in your pants, what they will do to brag to their friends that they scored. Are they ever the ones being left in the dust with a broken heart? Perhaps once? A girl ruined them for everyone else by breaking their hearts? Yes, some but not all, some do it for the mere fun of the game. They prey on the females, twist them in a confusion of words, wrapping them in pretty words `oh you're so beautiful', `I have never met anyone like you before', `your special you know that'. I don't know about you but I have heard quite a few of these lines being sprouted out by those type of users who say everything you want to hear until they have you wrapped around their fingers. That is until your no fun anymore because they have either won the game or given up because you won't be persuaded out of your clothes and they drop you like your nothing but litter.

The main lesson learned is that every girl should watch out for the guys who are deceptive and seeking only to find a girl to score with. And that not all guys behave in such a fashion but you have to be wary of the ones who constantly spin bull to weave you within their web of destruction.

SHE KNOWN AS JESS
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Josie, Nicolette, and Aviva are attracted to a boy who goes by his initials, T.L. He's a handsome, smooth talking jock and senior. One by one he manipulates the young ladies into doing what he wants, even when they're filled with doubt and suspicious of the way he talks about them to his friends. But they don't take things sitting down after he uses them.

There are some scenes that might be considered graphic, but the sexuality leads to important lessons for the three girls. The shifting points of view had smooth transitions. This is a well-written verse novel. Unfortunately, looking at the author's book list on Goodreads and on her website, this appears to be her only published novel (but she has authored picture books and non-fiction).
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Format: Hardcover
A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl is only the second verse novel that I've read (after Hugging the Rock by Susan Taylor Brown). And I have to say that if these two books are at all representative, then I'm completely hooked. I love the combination of a fast-paced, streamlined read with wonderful language selection.

I read Bad Boy in one sitting, and didn't want it to end. I read the end material in the book. I read the discussion questions on the handy bookmark that Tanya provided, and I spent time thinking about them. I thought about my own high school experiences. I wondered if Josie, Nicolette, and Aviva would end up becoming friends. I thought of which of them I personally identified with the most. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl is a verse novel told in the distinct voices of three high school girls. Josie is a freshman, smart and confident but (she assures us) not stuck up. Nicolette is a junior, popular with the boys, in a certain sort of way, but the kind of girl who other girls tend to avoid. Aviva is a senior, a "Criss-Crosser" who has friends in lots of cliques, but manages to maintain her own individuality. One after another, each of these three girls, very different on the surface, falls for the same unnamed boy, a popular senior jock. Their experiences with him vary, but have commonalities, too. I think that any adult reader of this book will find occasion to wince here and there, as certain incidents or feelings ring true.

This book is a very frank look at high school politics and relationships. Although it's not a difficult read, I wouldn't recommend it for most middle schoolers, because it is very open concerning teen sex. That said, I do highly recommend it for high schoolers, especially girls.
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