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Bass Ackwards and Belly Up    by Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain order for
Bass Ackwards and Belly Up
by Elizabeth Craft
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Four good friends, who've been planning together for college and are about to embark in different directions, begin to have second thoughts. First one changes her mind, then the others follow, like a falling stack of dominoes. Each decides to follow her dream. But it all started with a lie - will the one who told it ever fess up?

Lovely, self-confident Sophie heads to Hollywood, to be an actress. Tired of fulfilling others' plans for her life, Kate heads to Europe to break down barriers and find herself. Harper moves into her parents' basement to write a Great American Novel. Becca, whose family defines dysfunctional, is the only one who continues on to college - a talented athlete, she picked one for its ski program and coach - but she's tasked by her friends with opening up and falling in love.

In Paris, Kate falls hard for an Ugly Guy, who sees into her heart and supports her dream. With help from Magnus, Kate conquers her fears; she stomps grapes, and she moves on. Sophie falls for a shallow movie star, while she befriends and squabbles with the pool attendant hottie under her nose. Becca confronts her divorced parents, and makes mistakes, but she also does fall in love. And Harper struggles hard with her writing, and with her attraction to her high school English teacher.

Despite derailments along the way, all four ride their Dream Trains in a direction right for them. They continually support each other with advice and the insights that only long-term close friends can have, and eventually all their secrets are revealed. Though the continual switching of perspectives in this quadruple dose of coming of age stories was sometimes confusing, I enjoyed Bass Ackwards and Belly Up and rooted for all four friends' courage in living their dreams.

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