Saturday, March 31, 2007

Just Like Tomorrow

Title: Just Like Tomorrow (orig. Kiffe Kiffe demain)
Author: Faïza Guéne
Chatto & Windus, 2006

Doria is 15 and lives with her mother in a bleak high-rice estate north of Paris. Her father has returned to Morocco to remarry because Doria is not a boy and because her mother is unable to have more children. Her only friend is a thirty-year-old dopehead and school's a disaster. Could this novel really be a funny feast riot? Yes!

The voice of Doria is to-the-point, almost-bitter, bravadolike and Guéne has captured the worldweary cockiness of teenagedom. This endearing (she would hate to be called that ) girl is wise beyond her years in some respects and innocently naive in others. For example, her first kiss from an acne-ridden teacher's pet of a boy falls far short of her dream scenario: "the edge of a lake, in a forest, at sunset, with a buff guy who'd look a bit like Thierry Henry in the Renault ads, when he's doing that Va-va-voom line...the guy would be explaining how you can start a fire with a nail file and stone, when we'd break out of our deep and meaningful conversation to turn gently towards each other, and we'd kiss."

The novel is super-funny and hopeful without being unrealistic and rife with terrific one-liners fit for quoting. The Swedish hard-cover edition is upon us so get your copy. This is value for money!

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