Okay, so here's the deal: there are books about volcanoes erupting and meteorites hitting Earth and plane crashes where the survivors have to eat people—those are extraordinary crises.
That's not what this book is about. I'm more the ordinary catastrophe type. This second semester of my sophomore year, there are basically 7 KINDS OF ORDINARY CATASTROPHES: high school, boys, heartbreak, family, job, friends, and the future.
Well, I guess everyone's life is full of ordinary catastrophes. These are mine. Hi, I'm Gert Garibaldi. Welcome to my crazy life.
First-time novelist Kizer launches a projected YA series with this occasionally witty tale of 15-year-old Gert Garibaldi. She's a Brain (smart kid) struggling to fit into her high school world filled with Pops (popular kids), Giggles (trendy kids), and Things (bad boys/jocks). Best friend Adam serves as Gert's lifeline and confidant, until he meets a cute boy and drops her like a hot potato. With no one to help her cope with some cringeworthy parenting and two burgeoning crushes, the sarcastic Gert flounders before pouring her heart into a diary. Titling entries either rants or raves, Gert's writings on random topics humorously showcase her angst. However, these entries crop up somewhat abruptly throughout the narrative, often breaking its flow. The author also endows Gert with a fascination with sex and her body, which at first makes her seem real and representative of the target audience, but later goes too far, so that Gert sounds almost fixated. When appraising her appearance in the mirror, Gert says in a panic, "Mts. Everest and Kilimanjaro squished together are less conspicuous than my ass . I have the world's largest tush. I require a UN escort for international travel. Maybe even NATO." Younger teen readers will relate to Gert's insecurity and to her typical troubles, but even they may tire of her self-obsessed ramblings. Ages 14-up.