6. The Waitress – Sinclair Smith
This was an odd one. There were a lot of jolts, for instance in one chapter there’s a piece of foreshadowing (and I could tell it was foreshadowing because Paula the main character was thinking that the story of the closed drive-in must not be that interesting, there’s no clearer way to indicate that a story will be important than to have a main character telling you it must not be) and then there’s a near-miss car accident. During the near-miss accident, main character Paula thinks that it’s great that she and the driver, Cookie, also a teenage girl, buckled up for safety, so there’s also some didacticism thrown in for good measure, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Main character Paula also says “Good heavens,” at one point and I’m pretty sure she made the motion of clutching pearls while she said it. Now, I know that slang changes over the years, so maybe in 1991 all the sixteen year olds said “Good heavens” in response to unfortunate things happening around them and Sinclair Smith was on the cutting edge and put that in her book published in 1992, but, it sounded very off, like a grandmother’s voice was coming out of a sixteen year old character and I don’t remember 1991 that way. I totally hung out at a high school while my mom took tickets at a variety of sporting events and I do not recall any teens saying “Good heavens” – I probably would have taken that back with me to elementary school to make me seem rad.
My favorite thing about this book was that the love interest was named Garth. I can only think of Dana Carvey in the eponymous role of Garth Algar, dressed-as-a-girl-bunny-Bugs Bunny enthusiast, in Wayne’s World (which came out the same year as this very book!). Garth didn’t hurl in this book, but I believe he should have. Because if you blow chunks and she comes back, she’s yours.