Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published by Harper Collins on April 28th 2015
Also by this author: We Were Liars, YOLO, Let It Snow
Format: Paperback (352 pages) • Source: Purchased
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Three bestselling authors--E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle--bring you on the road trip of a lifetime in this dynamic novel packed with fun, friendship, and feminism.
Jesse, Vicks, and Mel each has her own reason for wanting to get away from their nowheresville Florida town. Add in a hot (and harmless) hitchhiker, an impending hurricane, and a close encounter of the gator kind, and the result is one sizzling road trip where the journey is far more important than the destination. Now in a fresh new package, How to Be Bad will take even more readers along for the ride.
Just take a look at the rating report below and you’ll know how I feel about this book: very mixed. On one hand, it was kind of a fast, friendship-packed story that had a great road trip premise. On the other hand, the characters were terrible at their worst and annoying at their best. Let’s see if I can explain the pros and cons of this one.
The road trip premise is something I’ll ALWAYS be interested in reading. Unfortunately, like an idiot, I read this outdated road trip right after reading another outdated road trip book. Both were written around 2007 so the technology and social media aspect was totally dated. Not a huge deal, but still worth mentioning. I loved the setting (Florida) and the reason for the trip (visit Vicks’s boyfriend at his college in Miami). I also liked that the book switched between three perspectives: one for each girl, written by each author. The girls and their reasons for going on the trip were very different, so that was pretty cool. I liked Mel the most out of the three girls, I think. It was engaging and easy to read. I also am kind of obsessed with the fun cover and am still glad I bought it for my shelves.
What didn’t work
Man, these characters didn’t work for me. Jesse was judgmental (about everything and everyone) and incredibly religious. Mel was self-loathing and self-conscious. Vicks was the typical bad girl who made terrible decisions. Well, most of them made terrible decisions. I shook my head so often. The book was full of drama, fights, and arguments. I found it incredibly hard to relate to any of the characters, especially Jesse, and they bugged me most of the time. I personally have issues with books involving religious main characters, even if the major plotline involves them “loosening up” a little about it. They also felt very flat and their characterization and personalities were cardboard cut-outs of stereotypes. Even though they were portrayed as very ~different~ from one another, their voices blended together. It was hard to figure out who was talking unless they were actually referencing things in their life. The book, overall, was so surface-level – no depth at all. There were areas that just needed some major beefing up and/or closure towards the end.
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