If you are looking for a book with a strong voice, you need look no further than E. Lockart. She's a master of the teenage girl. And she's funny! These books are the second and third in a series of books that began with a book called The Boyfriend List [(15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs, and Me, Ruby Oliver) I told you, funny!
Ruby Oliver is quite a girl. She's flailing through high school, as most students do, but she does have it kind of bad after that whole boyfriend list thing that spiraled completely out of control (not to mention out of context) last year. Ruby deals with it all in a way that's mostly admirable, if sometimes a little atypical, but also sometimes in ways which are completely out there and not at all work-able in real life.
Both books are peppered with footnotes, a little gimmick that works fine for me but which I know does not work well for some readers. They are a little disruptive, so if you're a very linear person, you probably wouldn't like them. The Boy Book also begins each chapter with a chapter from a "book" written by Ruby and her friends when they were in junior high that tried to explain boys and their behaviors. It's pretty hilarious, and always relates to something happening in Ruby's high school world, showing that not much really evolves in the world of adolescent relationships...
One thing I really enjoyed is seeing Ruby grow up some and develop better personal skills over the course of these novels, even though she's still got a ways to go. She does think about others, and she tries to put herself in other people's shoes sometimes. This is a good thing for all of us to do, and it's not always easy, especially in high school, and especially when you've been badly hurt like Ruby has.
Ruby has a clear and distinct voice that is true to a high school girl and both these books are quick, fun reads. Available at the Multnomah County libraries.