Summary: In Sherman’s high school, girls who are thought to behave questionably are ostracised. All it takes is a picture of the girl with a D marked in it put up in all of the student bathrooms and it is like she never existed. She has been ‘defiled.’ When Sherman’s crush Dini starts going out with Lacrosse star Lester, Sherman is fearful she will be the next to be defiled. Inspired by his friend Vanessa’s detective novels, Sherman becomes determined to protect Dini by unravelling the mystery of who the Defilers actually are and why they are doing it before it is too late. In the meantime, Sherman is sharpening his cooking skills and aiming for a coveted Cafeteria spot in the fall of his grade ten year.
Number of Pages: 341
Age Range: 13-15
Review: I feel in some ways Getting the Girl by Susan Juby is the light-hearted, funny version of Beth Goobie’s The Lottery. Both feature frightening high schools where being ostracised seems to take place on the whim of a mysterious person or committee. Both have characters wh eventually willing to take a stand and do something about it, and both highlight the fact that though the defiling is started by an unknown party, it is carried out by the student body. No one is innocent.
But unlike The Lottery, I laughed so hard I felt like I was reading a Vicki Grant book. Sherman has good intentions, but almost everyone turns out to be a better detective than he is. Reading about how hard he tried to be a professional though was hilarious.
I also enjoyed how Sherman comes to realise his feelings for Dini are more lust-based than love-based. There is something attractive about being her potential knight in shining armor, but Sherman eventually embraces reality and begins to see the love that is waiting right in front of him.
I just love Juby’s quirky characters. Who can resist Sherman’s big heart, or his burlesque loving mother, his cravat wearing friend and his balding and thoughtful neighbour? Juby has an incredible talent to use a whole cast of characters and make each memorable and unique. That, along with her wonderful sense of humour, is what keeps me reading her books and wanting more.
“There is no man alive who is not partially jackass. When we detect some areas of jackassery within ourselves, we feel discontent. Our image suffers.” – Meyer to Travis McGee in A Tan and Sandy Silence by John D. MacDonald from Getting the Girl by Susan Juby
“Most of the women the detectives interview in Vanessa’s books want to sleep with the detectives as soon as they see them. Looked like I wasn’t going to have that problem.” – Sherman from Getting the Girl by Susan Juby, page 74
“After trying out stationary surveillance, I’m thinking that the mobile kind is probably more my style. For one thing, it won’t be as boring because you get to move around. For another, if you do stationary surveillance of a girl by yourself when you aren’t the police or a certified P.I., people might think you are a pervert as opposed to a concerned and righteous fighter for justice.” – Sherman from Getting the Girl by Susan Juby, page 122