I picked up a proof of this at a conference I attended and I really didn’t know what to expect. Lil Chase didn’t ring a bell with me, but I decided to take a punt. And Oh My God, I’m so glad that I did.
Maya, new girl at Mount Selwyn High, is assigned Locker 62. It’s the locker of secrets. Unused for years, it’s become the repository of anything unsayable at school and everything in that locker is dynamite. And now, following a decision by the school to give her that locker, all of this is in Maya’s hands.
Secrets, Lies & Locker 62 is Clueless meets Mean Girls meets Harriet The Spy. It’s so good. I just utterly devoured this.
Chase writes with a perceptive, funny edge and gets right to the depth of her characters. Maya’s brilliantly realistic and when she decides to Do That Spoilery Thing she does, it’s scarily accurate. This is what people do. Sometimes people behave like idiots. Maya also ends up facing big things in this story and her reaction to this is very beautifully judged. I had a total wibble at the end.
I also really loved how Chase handles friendship. Teen Girl Friendship is terrifyingly complicated and the whole Best Friend thing just adds a new level of complicated. Dealing with all that is hard; there’s the subtle social nuances of relationships and an accidental diss or a bitchy comment can just add a spark to an already combustible situation. And then, sometimes, when you’re the New Girl, it’s even harder. The dynamic between Maya and her friends is perfectly judged and again, scarily perceptive.
Go. Pick this up. You’ll get a fast, funny and freakishly real story that finishes (can I stuff this sentence with any more words beginning with f?) on a fabulously feel-good (looks like I can!!) note.