PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 August, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 August, 2003, 12:00am


by Bella Bathurst

Picador $98

A version of The Lord Of The Flies that Bathurst wrote to prove that teenage girls aren't nicer than boys. Beautiful Caz, anorexic Hen, overweight Izzy, bookish Ali, and lesbian Jules are on a school field trip, but amuse themselves by smoking, gossiping, and sneaking out to a nearby village to flirt with local boys and, more dangerously, men.

Critics say: 'Teenage girls are tiresome, self-obsessed and vain, and their ability to vent their frustrations on one another is subtle and vicious. But so joyless? So closed down? It is hard to care whether such girls arrive at adulthood or not.' Geraldine Bedell, The Guardian

Pros: Fast, fluid, funny.

Cons: Much is unbelievable - the relentlessness of the girls, the lax teachers, the men that inexplicably hang around.