Father Knows Best

Sandoval, Lynda. Father Knows Best. Valley Falls, NY: Soliloquy-Bold Strokes Books, 2010. Paperback. 238pp. $13.95. ISBN: 978-1-60282-147-7.

In this sequel to Who’s Your Daddy?, the Three Amigas have separate goals for the summer before their senior year, but stay in touch through texting rather than “traveling pants.” All three narrate parts of the story, but the main focus is on Lila who is totally grossed out that her father is dating her boyfriend Dylan’s mother Chloe. Meanwhile, Dylan’s ex-girlfriend, Jennifer “Hellspawn” Hamilton, is pregnant and abandoned by her former friends who used to make life harsh for the Amigas. Meryl, the saintly Amiga, befriends Jennifer and introduces her to the lesbian couple in whose shop Meryl works. Gradually, Lila grows up enough to become friends with Jennifer, and with Chloe, and to build a more honest relationship with Dylan. During all this, the third Amiga, Caressa is in New York working backstage on a Broadway show and falling in love with a hottie dancer.

Readers who follow the saga of Ann Brasheres’ Sisterhood or who enjoy the texted adventures of Lauren Myracle’s TTYL will find this a familiar story set in a small town in Colorado. They will also get the lesson of Jennifer, the former homophobe, who learns acceptance from the Amigas and decides to give her baby to the lesbian couple. What they will not encounter directly are any gay characters except for one three-page conversation between Meryl and one of the shop owners. They may also be puzzled by the abjectly apologetic Jennifer if they pick up this book without having read the first one. Jennifer’s reformation gives the story a preachy tone, which is relieved by Lila’s snarkiness and humor.

Where teen girlfriend stories are in high demand, this novel may offer a broader perspective to straight readers.

 

Reviewed by, Carolyn Caywood
Retired Librarian
Virginia Beach Public Library

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