Wednesday, December 21, 2011
REVIEW - Betty & Veronica: In Each Other's Shoes
In Each Other's Shoes sees Betty and Veronica in a bit of a tricky situation at Riverdale High. Due to a mix-up with the school ballots, the fashion-loving Veronica finds herself as editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, whereas Betty is out of her depth when she's elected to run the school's charity fashion show. Both girls help each other to get to grips with the basics of their new positions, but their friendship becomes strained due to the interference of a third party, making their responsibilities all the harder to bear.
Despite the closeness of the setting, most of the other main characters are pushed to the background, often not even having any input or importance in the story once it gets going. Kevin Keller, however, moved forwards into a fairly big role in this one - with another comment about his sexuality, one that actually means quite a lot when you read between the lines - again showing that Ambrose is not holding back with the potential Kevin has.
I was less impressed with this book, however. I couldn't really believe the way the girls acted with each other, at times acting more like young girls than the young women that they truly are. As is most likely predictable to anyone with even the smallest knowledge of Archie and its characters, Betty and Veronica fall out but reconcile towards the end, but to me it was too neat and they were too forgiving towards the third party I referenced earlier. The charity aspect of the fashion show was largely forgotten too, whereas I would have thought that for Betty it would have been the important thing.
I also felt that unlike the previous two books, there wasn't much of a message. There is an underlying vibe of "you must take responsibility if you seek it" or something similar, but it wasn't particularly powerful or even well thought out. The character that causes the issue in the first place never really takes responsibility, the character that exacerbates the problem and causes many of the issues does, and they atone and make up for it towards the end, but I didn't feel that there was a real lesson behind this book as the situation itself didn't make much sense. The problem they faced felt artificial and was artificially sustained.
In conclusion, In Each Other's Shoes was a good, but not particularly impressive, read. Anyone who has enjoyed the previous books or comics will likely find an enjoyable tale here, but one that perhaps doesn't work as well as others have. The target audience may not find the flaws I have, and I'm sure they'll get more out of it than I have.