Shelley Stoehr Wannabe

ISBN 13: 9780385322232

Wannabe

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( 7 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780385322232: Wannabe
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Catherine Tavarelli can't believe what she's just found out about her brother, Mickey. He's supposed to be spending his days at college--instead, he's running errands for the local mob. Catherine also suspects that Mickey may be taking and dealing drugs. Catherine's always been Mickey's protector--and she doesn't want him involved in the mob.

So what if she's working secretly at the local mafia social club? And so what if she and her friend Erica do coke once in a while? Catherine can handle it; Mickey can't. Or so she thinks....

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 9 Up. Familiar territory for readers of Stoehr's Crosses (Dell, 1993) and Weird on the Outside (Delacorte, 1995). Seventeen-year-old Catherine's decidedly tarnished version of the golden rule seems to be, "Use others before they use you." She and her best friend grow increasingly entangled in the mob milieu of Little Italy in Manhattan. Falling for handsome Joey Valentino, apparently a mobster on the way up, Cat unsuccessfully tries to keep her brother, Mickey, a wannabe mobster, from following his bent. An enthusiastic patron of mob movies, Mickey drops out of college and eventually is kicked out of the house by his father at gunpoint. Profane street language is common throughout the book. One reference to Cat's sexual activity is described with a mix of humor and directness. Occasional chapters written in Mickey's voice jolt uncomfortably, but effectively communicate his anger and frustration. Description of secondary characters is light. Frequent references to the title appear, as Cat views everyone around her as affecting behavior, language, and attitudes that she self-righteously abhors. Joey Valentino, who shelters Mickey and seems too good to be true in keeping Cat's best interests at heart, turns out to be an undercover cop. The resolution is too happy and too quick, but Stoehr's narrative flow is a strength, as is her ability to capture the rhythms, attitudes, and feelings of teens facing a violent, drug-filled world of big dreams with little chance of making it.?Joel Shoemaker, Southeast Jr. High School, Iowa City, IA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A bruising story of an ultimately caring brother-and-sister relationship that barely survives a tough city environment. Catherine, who wants to be a writer, has nothing in common with other fictional, determined scribblers such as Jo March or Anne Shirley, who exhibited the ability to transform their worlds and experiences into art. The vocation of Cat, 17, is never convincingly portrayed; instead, Stoehr (Weird on the Outside, 1995, etc.) gives readers a shallow, obnoxious young woman who thrills at the ``power trip'' of wearing the red leather boots that reach ``almost to my crotch'' to help her land the big tips at the New York City social club/mob hangout where she waitresses. Cat is upset that brother Mickey is eager to enter the mob world and is delivering and using cocaine. Cat starts using, too, and by book's end she has a raging habit that sends her rashly seeking out her dealer. The sensational plot ends abruptly with both Cat and Mickey easily kicking their habits, and a letter from Bard College spelling a rosy future for Cat. The novel may be a voyeuristic thrill for those who a) have never snorted cocaine from a toilet seat, and b) harbor crushes on up-and-coming John Gotti-types. The characters aren't likable, even when they are believable, while the lurid world they inhabit is offered in admiring glimpses. It wouldn't matter if Stoehr didn't show such promise, but she does, and here it goes largely unfulfilled. (Fiction. 14+) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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