New high school graduates Vic, Fletch, and Slick have been best friends since kindergarten and constitute a tight clique they call the Cuddle Huddle (though they are friends with others also and have divergent gifts and interests). They live in a nowheresville desert town about an hour from Las Vegas whose only claim to fame is an aging restaurant and attached, long-since-closed down amusement park. The crusty owner of the place is finally selling out and retiring but calls Vic and gives her carte blanche to stage a blowout graduation party. Vic realizes this must be done without giving the town witch, someone named Miss Ann Thrope, a chance to shut them down.
Although on the surface it seems a light-hearted romp, it contains some thoughtful observations about friendship, finding your own voice, taking responsibility, respecting others, not putting people in boxes, etc. The story is reasonably involved and well-plotted and the characters uniquely realized. They learn things about themselves and others and are better for it. It is fundamentally a sweet story.
But, it is an R-rated “High School Musical.” Casual sex abounds, the most-repeated word in the book is no doubt f*** (in all its variations), and there is a lot of drinking and pot-smoking. There are some gay characters in the book and their orientation is treated matter-of-factly. I wouldn’t put it on a school library shelf where inclusion might seem to endorse these behaviors but . . . it is a good little story, well-told.