Zodiac Girls: Recipe for Rebellion
Cathy Hopkins has sold millions of books, most of them written for teenage girls. After reading her latest book, Zodiac Girls: Recipe for Rebellion, I credit her popularity with a tone that both accurately captures the anxieties of adolescent life, and also achieves a likeability of character that is the key to most of today’s popular literature. Formerly an art school student, rock singer, aromatherapist and teacher of meditation techniques, Hopkins has an edge to her, a wit and style only found in people who have lived life outside of the lines to a certain degree. And this comes through in her characters.
Recipe for Rebellion is the story of Danu Harvey Jones, a motherless thirteen-year-old whose father has left for the archeological expedition of a lifetime and foisted her off on his sister, a workaholic attorney. Danu hates having to leave her home, her pets and her friends, and hates the cold high rise her aunt lives in. So, she plots to get herself sent back home by dreadlocking her hair, adopting a scowl and acting out in class. Unfortunately these tactics only increase her loneliness and isolation, until she meets a magical stranger who informs her that she is this month’s "zodiac girl."
While the plot and characters are interesting and engaging enough to stand up on their own, the key to the Zodiac Girls series is that each book is centered on an astrological sign, Recipe’s being Sagittarius. And through the foil of fantastical characters - people who represent planets and all live together in one small, needless-to-say very funky town - Hopkins manages to give a solid overview of astrology to her reader. Anyone not familiar with astrology would have a much better idea of what it is all based on and how it all works after reading a book in this series. That in and of itself is a reason I’d recommend this over most other teen chick-lit books. It is informative as well as incredibly entertaining.