Saskatoon StarPhoenix Review - Drummer Girl

Reviewed by: Bev Brenna

Drummer Girl by Alberta author Karen Bass (Coteau paperback; $14.95) is a young adult title set in contemporary times.

A proposition from another girl sets Sid's teeth on edge - and along with it comes comments from classmates designed to elicit a confession about her sexuality. Wes Remichuk, star basketball player, says to her in class: "...I can see why you dumped her.

Next time go for someone at least a little cool." His gaze flicked down and back up. "Not that you're much better. Raving dyke."

Sid poked him in the chest. "I am not."

"Right. Like you weren't just ogling Maria along with the rest of us."

All Devin's lessons on how to take down an enemy rushed into Sid's mind. She clenched her fist but resisted the urge to plow Wes. "Commenting on the obvious isn't ogling."

Wes sneered. "Your friends might be too afraid to say anything - ever notice all your friends are guys? - but you're so butch it hurts. Admit it. Confession's supposed to be good for the soul."

The desire to be invited into a cool band inspires Sid to dress the part - in addition to a hope that new clothes will emphasize her straight sexual orientation. Events catapult towards a sexual assault and a video that goes viral, offering a conclusion somewhat didactic in the manner that various threads are pulled together, yet satisfying nonetheless.

Strong prose that invites contemplation; recommended for ages 13 and up. 

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