New York Times bestselling author Gigi Levangie Grazer returns with Seven Deadlies, a witty and wildly different novel set amid the sinful reaches of Beverly Hills, narrated by a captivating, gimlet-eyed Mexican-American heroine.
Perry Gonzalez is not like the other kids in her Beverly Hills high school—a full-blooded Latina on a scholarship, living in a tiny apartment with her mother, she doesn’t have much in common with the spoiled, privileged kids who are chauffeured to school every morning. But Perry is a budding young writer with her sights set on Bennington—and her seven deadly stories are her ticket to the Ivory Tower. To pay her way, Perry’s been babysitting (correction: teenage-sitting) and tutoring the neighborhood kids, and she has seen the dark side of adolescence: lust for the “Judas Brothers” that leads to electrocution at a private birthday party concert; wrath that inspires new and perverse family bonds; and greed, in a young Bernie Madoff acolyte who conceives of a copycat Ponzi scheme involving his own grandmother.
ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Perry Gonzales is a scholarship student at an elite Beverly Hills private school with her sights set on an elite college. The story is told in the form of letters to the admissions officer there and with wonderfully dark humor that will appeal to adults as much as it will to teens. Perry has built a business as a tutor and somewhat babysitter to the kids she attends school with, discovering their “sins” and telling their cautionary tale so that others might learn from their mistakes. She explores all of the deadliest sins with elements that will make any freshman gasp with immediate comprehension.
Wrath is my particular favorite where the oldest son finds such anger when his mother gives birth to twins that he cannot be trusted to be alone with them, so his mother hires Perry so she can get an hour or two of sleep. But being angry does have consequences and in this case, they are quite dire. Lust takes the form of a teen so spoiled that she does everything in her power, from hunger to breathing strikes, to have the Judas Brothers perform just for her. Pride takes a parent’s demand for absolute perfection creates absolute devastation for perfect scholar/athlete. Greed, of course, has a horrible ending as well as envy, gluttony and sloth proving that karma always comes back.
I fell in love with Perry’s voice and her relationship with her mother. As a single mother, Ylena Marie, works as a nurse to support her daughter and gives no quarter. Whenever Perry finds she cannot cope or resolve an issue, her mother is there with wisdom and just the right words. The ending really caught me off guard with a big surprise. I was also excited to see that this book has been optioned by MTV which is wonderful news since my favorite show, Awkward, plays along the same lines with a very cerebral main character. Well, now that I have officially read every book Gigi has written, it is time for me to look to next year when I better get another one!
About the Author
Gigi Levangie Grazer is the bestselling author of five previous novels, including The After Wife and The New York Times bestseller The Starter Wife, which was adapted for USA Network. She is the author of the screenplay for Stepmom, which starred Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon, and has written for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, and other publications. She lives in Los Angeles with her two children and one miniature dachshund.
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