|Title||Betsy Wickwire's dirty secret|
|Year of Publication||2012|
|Descriptors||Depression; Halifax; Relationships; Teen romance|
Betsy Wickwire’s Dirty Secret is a young adult novel intended for teen readers of any age. Betsy Wickwire is one of the most popular girls at Citadel High, a real high school located in downtown Halifax. She’s slim, pretty, popular, athletic, and is dating Nick, the most popular guy at school. In the summer after graduation, however, Betsy discovers Nick has been cheating on her with her best friend, Carly. After being dumped, Betsy falls into despondent depression and isolates herself from her former friends. One day Betsy runs into Dolores Morris, a quirky social outcast from school, who talks her into jointly starting a cleaning business. Through their business, Dolores and Betsy meet Murdoch, a shy artist who dropped out of engineering. Betsy gradually realizes there are far more nuances to life than she imagined, and a far greater variety of possible futures. Narrated in the first person by Betsy, this novel addresses themes of depression, acceptance, love, and friendship. Other themes include honesty, coming of age, and independence.
Dolores had never called me Bets before. Somehow it seemed like another indicator of how far I’d fallen – as did the fact that, yet again, my response was clearly not required. I was peripheral now. Except for a moment to adjust her knee socks, Dolores hadn’t taken her eyes off Murdoch.
“We’re going swimming at Quarry Lake. Wanta come? Be awful refreshing after a day slaving over a hot sink…”
Murdoch moved his head several times before saying, “Um. Well.”
The Big Nervous Spider Goes Swimming…
“I don’t have my bathing suit.”
Dolores made a noise like air escaping from a bicycle pump. “So? I know for a fact you wear boxers.”