Thursday, July 9, 2015

Book Review: How to be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, & Lauren Myracle

Quick Facts

My Rating: 4 stars

Series: N/A

Date Read: June 24, 2015

Source: Purchased ebook

Publication Date: May 1, 2008

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genres: Young adult, contemporary



When Jesse finds out her mom has cancer, she's desperate to leave and escape the reality she doesn't want to accept. Her plan is to go on a road trip with her friend, Vicks, to visit her boyfriend at college. She doesn't expect Mel, the rich new girl at work, to invite herself along -- but she offers to pay, so how can Jesse say no?
The three girls set off in Jesse's mom's car, each with their own secrets and issues to deal with. Vicks' relationship isn't quite as perfect as she made it seem, and she hasn't really heard from her boyfriend since he left. Jesse is keeping her mother's cancer a secret. And Mel just wants to feel like she belongs somewhere, but she knows she's really only there because the other girls wanted her to pay.
I really enjoyed this book. The dynamics between the girls were so interesting -- they were all so different, and I enjoyed every one of their perspectives. I will admit that I preferred Mel's point of view to the others in the beginning, but towards the middle I didn't care who was telling the story. I just wanted to hear more about the girls and their trip!
This book also did a great job at balancing a realistic aspect with a fun, summery read. It does deal with a pretty deep topic -- cancer -- but it isn't covered much throughout the book, due to Jesse's reluctance to talk about it.
That said, and I'm probably being contradictory: I wanted something more. I was so interested in the girls, I could have read so much more about their lives. Maybe this is just a sign of how well-developed they were, but when I reached the end I wanted more. Maybe a bit of a deeper story line. Or maybe just a longer book?
I didn't hate the ending -- in fact, I thought it was a really great place to leave off. At the same time, I would have liked to see more of the girls daily lives, more of their friendship, everything else that happened after the trip. (Maybe what I'm saying is that I wouldn't mind a sequel? Even though this does work fine as a standalone?)
Anyway, I would completely recommend this to anyone looking for a great summer read. It has so much fun, so much girl power, and such excellent relationships. And it's a road trip book -- which might be my favorite trope, ever.

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