Diva (by Alex Flinn)

28 02 2012

After the abomination that was Beastly, I have to say that I was quite reluctant about reading anything that Alex Flinn had ever written before or after Beastly. So in between real books, Diva was the only book that was just lying there that I hadn’t read, and considering I had incredibly low expectations, I was happily surprised by the non-infantile plot and the girl-empowering message of this book… yes, Beastly really was that awful!

Considering my in-between books status, I also had no idea that this book was a companion book to Flinn’s 2001 debut Breathing Underwater (not to be mistaken with Julia Green’s book of the same title), which deals with a teenage boy, Nick, who physically and emotionally abuses his girlfriend, Caitlin, and which was a Top 10 ALA Best Books for Young Adults. Diva deals with Caitlin after the whole Nick episode of her life.

Caitlin wants to be a real diva, an opera singer, and secretly doesn’t want to hang out with the size zero cheerleader friends of her ex-boyfriend who became her friends by association. Because she wants to realize her dream, she auditions for the Miami High School of the Arts and actually gets in. Now she no longer needs to hold up the charades and can just be herself, discover her inner diva, and not feel guilty about eating that second Pringle for fear she wouldn’t fit in the size 2 anymore…

Diva is the story of a girl discovering who she is and going for it, despite having a sucky past, sucky parents (both of them, despite her mom’s best intentions!), and sucky wannabe friends. Despite the fact that the title is Diva, Caitlin is actually anything but. She’s very self-conscious about what she can do (singing) and especially about what she can’t do (dancing). So her self-consciousness is not a symptom of arrogance or her being a diva, but actually of her shyness. Here’s a prime example of a teenage girl’s genuine quest for growth, meeting other people with big and small personalities, overcoming obstacles and trying to come out on top…

Yes, yes, Alex Flinn, you have surprised the cat. Though I’m sure this too would make for one heck of a chick flick, at least this one seems to have some genuine heart to it.



One response

22 05 2012
Roderick Wadman

Thx for information.

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