Where to start? I just-…. ugh.
Okay. I obviously was not a fan of this book. Like… there was literally nothing I enjoyed.
Wait. That’s a lie. I like the dress that the girl on the cover is wearing. Even though it’s just the back of it, I can picture the rest and it’s stunning. The colouring and the style makes me think of those cute vintage 50’s style dresses. I definitely want to wear it.
So the cover photo has nothing to do with how good or bad a story is, which in this scenario is quite unfortunate. You know how they say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’? Well, that definitely applies here, but in the opposite way that it normally does. Usually the cover is bad and the book is surprisingly good. This time, the cover is good (thanks to that adorable dress) and the book is bad.
I have a duty to my readers to tell the truth, so here’s why I didn’t like this book:
- It read like a made for tv movie… and not just for the women’s network or Cosmo, but rather for the disney channel. It was definitely written for 13 year old preteens… actually, at some points it felt like it was written BY a preteen. And I have read plenty of books in the past that were for teens, but still had appeal for young adults. Not the case this time…
- You could tell that this book was basically a fan fiction continuation of that scene from She’s the Man where Bynes and Tatum kiss at the carnival kissing booth. Not only did this movie and scene come up in the book, but it was the idea that drove the entire story. As much as I love that movie, this sort of diminishes the authors credibility as a creative writer.
- Continuing on this thread, Lisi’s back story of how she fell for popular Brett was right our of Mean Girls. She sits behind him in class, he turns around to ask for a pencil, drool. She waits for the glorious moments when he’ll turn around and ask for a pencil… I just kept waiting for her to say, “on October 3rd, he asked me what day it was… it’s October 3rd.”
- In the end, it turned into Clueless. Lisi was annoyed that Mo liked Johnny, and then that Johnny had a secret crush on someone else. She didn’t understand why it bothered her, until… “Oh my god, I love Josh!”- I mean, Johnny. Cue the lightbulb moment as the fountain lights and water spring to life. Again, creativity is lacking! It’s like Hill just took all of her favourite movie moments and mashed them together. It’s not even subtle; she mentions the movie Clueless in her book, saying it’s a favourite of Bella’s.
- The character names. UGH what the hell is Lisi?!?!?!? It’s almost as bad as Renesme. Just call her Lisa for goodness sakes! That’s what I started doing because I could handle Lisi. It’s like my brain refused to accept it. And poor Brett… I kept calling him butt. Is Brett short for something? What parent would name their kid Brett?! And MO? Ew. Just call her Molly! It’s already a short enough name. The girl doesn’t need a nickname. My brain kept registering MOO every time she showed up. Yeah, that’s right. A cow.
- Lisi’s friends are shit. MOO is a bitch (excuse the vulgarity) and Bella is a bully. MOO just up and drops her friends for no real reason. She is really mean to them, and the readers aren’t given a reason why until the end. She just dumps them, ignores them, and says bitchy shit to their faces and behind their backs. In her video interview, she says that she’s tired of being in their shadow… but Hill never gave the reader a moment when this was true! First time we meet her we find out out that she’s been Lisi’s BFF since childhood, and they share a lot of cute memories together. MOO is totally fine at the pizza place, and then the next day she’s a bitch! We later find out it’s cause she told Johnny she liked him, but he didn’t return the feeling because he liked Lisi… and dumping Bella and Lisi was apparently the only way she could deal with it. A real BFF wouldn’t be that stupid. And then she accuses Lisi of being selfish… and I’m like wtf!? Lisi has been nothing but nice and caring! She’s been trying to reconnect with you and you blow her off because she stole your crush without even knowing it?! MOO drops her friends to make her own life better. .. so who’s really selfish? Now to Bella the bully… she pushes Lisi into an impossible situation by telling the whole school that Lisi can get a celebrity for the kissing booth. When Lisi reasonably says ummm what?!, Bella accuses her of being uptight and bullies her into promising to get the celeb. And then when she bullies Lisi to tell her about her crush?! Maybe Lisi just wants to keep it to herself! That doesn’t make her a bad friend. I kept my crushes from my friends. And why?! Because 90% of the time it somehow gets out and becomes school gossip. I preferred to fly under the radar, and my friends were fine with that! They didn’t care that I didn’t share every detail of my life with them as if they were a walking, talking diary. And I didn’t expect to know all their secrets in return. We shared what we wanted to share. We didn’t bully each other like Bella!
- Why did Bella and MOO put up such a stink about her keeping her crush a secret all these years, but they didn’t give two shits about Johnny doing the same damn thing! We presume that his crush on Lisi is as long lasting as Lisi’s on Brett, but it’s okay for him to keep a secret this monumental?! If anything, it’s even BIGGER since his crush is a member of their imidiate friend circle. Come to think of it, now I’m seeing MOO as a damn hypocrite! SHE DIDN’T TELL ANYONE THAT SHE HAD A CRUSH ON JOHNNY!!!!! But she’s allowed to be all high and mighty about the fact that Lisi is keeping her crush on Brett a secret?! Wait, it gets stupider! Lisi told MOO about her crush on Brett LOOOONNNNGGGGG ago, but MOO didn’t tell Lisi about her crush on Johnny!!!! WTF WTF WTF! I HATE MOO! SHE’S SUCH A SHITTY CHARACTER!!!
- Lisi’s big confession in front of the carnival crowd? So unnecessary. She didn’t need to stand on a chair and spew her guts about never being kissed, giving a bunch of inspirational lines about high school and life. It was beyond cheese – ball; too much for no reason. Again, it felt like Hill took all her favourite confession/inspiration lines from every cheesy chick flick and then threw it into a final speech. It was like she was trying to create her own Mean Girls moment where Cady wins the crown, makes a speech and then splits the crown with the crowd…. but this version didn’t turn out. Lisi only needed to say sorry for not actually having a celebrity guest… no one gives a shit about the rest; save it for a private convo with your friends.
- And lastly, who the hell won the trip to NYC?!?!??!??! Wasn’t that the whole point of having the best carnival booth, and we don’t get to know how it all worked out? I’m calling bull on that…
I could nitpick a bit more, but I’ll leave the rest up to you. I’m sorry about this one, Book Babies, but I had to be honest. I suggest you don’t bother with this one, but maybe you’ll want to read it for yourself to better understand my criticism. Or maybe you’ll enjoy it! Someone has to for it to be published…
Anyways it’s a short read, so if you do give it a shot to either disprove or agree with my criticism, it won’t consume your day and leave you with regrets! Haha
Until next time, Book Babies!