Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Book Review: How To Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle

How to Be BadTitle: How To Be Bad
Author: E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle
Series:  n/a
Pages:  288
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Date of UK Publication: 4th June, 2015
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads:
When you're tired of being good, sometimes you gotta be a little bad ...

Jesse, Vicks and Mel couldn't be more different. Jesse, a righteous Southern gal who's as thoughtful as she is uptight, is keeping a secret that she knows will change her life forever. Vicks is a wild child: seemingly cool, calm and collected on the outside, but inside she's furious at herself for being so anxious about her neglectful boyfriend. And Mel is the new girl in town. She's already been dismissed as just another rich kid, but all she wants is to get over some of her fears and find some true friends.

But for all their differences, the girls discover they've got one thing in common - they're desperate to escape. Desperate to get the heck out of Niceville and discover their true 'badass' selves! Even if it's just for the weekend ... One 'borrowed' car later, it's time to hit the road and head for Miami. Hearts will be broken, friendships will be tested, and a ridiculously hot stranger could change the course of everything.


My Thoughts:
Ever since I read We Were Liars, I've been a big fan of E. Lockhart. I read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks last year and loved it, so I had high hopes for more of the same from How To Be Bad. While it wasn't at all what I wanted, it was still enjoyable and I'm glad I've read it.

Three girls, Jesse, Vicks, and Mel, work in the local Waffle House and they've all had enough of their lives and decide to go on an elaborate road trip to escape. The novel is narrated in alternating POV, with each of the three authors taking a character each. I think Mel was the most relatable, but Jesse was the hardest for me to get used to.

However Jesse was also the character that I found most interesting, with her strong Christian views affecting everything that she does. I liked seeing such a steadfast and unashamed faith in a character as it's not something I've ever seen in a YA novel, but I do think that she was overexaggerated and her faith was portrayed negatively, which I didn't think was very fair. She fell into the pushy, close-minded Christian stereotype and for the most part (or at least in my experience), Christians are not like that. In Britain at least, perhaps it's different in America? I don't know, but I did enjoy her discussion of VeggieTales. You should watch them if you haven't. They're very silly... Anyway!

The novel's a lot more character driven than plot driven (at times the plot is rather ludicrous, and at others just plain not-that-interesting), but I didn't mind that. At the beginning none of the characters were particularly likeable, but by the end their friendships grow and change and they develop into better people which is always nice to see. I enjoyed watching their friendship blossom, even through their fights, and it's always great to see a novel whose main plot is the development of female friendships. Yes, there are boys involved but only secondarily - go girls!

While How To Be Bad did not deliver everything that I wanted from it, I did enjoy it and was quite happy to sit and read it almost all in one sitting. If, like me, you're looking for something as good and individual as E. Lockhart's previous titles, We Were Liars and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, perhaps look elsewhere, but I'd recommend it more if you're a contemporary enthusiast and for fans specifically looking for a good YA road trip.

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