I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
There may be spoilers. Read at your own risk.
I had high expectations for this book. The synopsis boasts a teenage girl with empathy, a sweet new guy, and a mean girl. I envisioned some kind of spin on Mean Girls, and I guess I'm partly to blame for that, but this book just did not work for me at all.
It seemed like there was this underlying bitter current about the "pretty girl" always getting the guy. The word 'blonde' was overused to the point of annoyance. We get it. Becca was blonde and pretty. But blonde does not equal popularity, no matter how many times the author tried to stress that point. Brogen's dad cheated on her mom with a "pretty blonde" and now she refuses to go near Jay because Becca, who is a "pretty blonde," has her sights set on him. It was so damn superficial.
(Brogen is reflecting on the fact that her dad is dating the "Blonde-squad's" newest leader's (aka Becca) mom)
Linda was the adult version of Becca. She was so unlike my mom, exact opposites. I was like my mom. Why did the attractive blondes always get the guys? Even if I dyed my hair blonde, I still wouldn't land the guys. I didn't have that goddess look-long and thick wavy hair, big bosom, curvy hips, and long legs. I was trim from all my running and had muscular calves and thighs, but I got short changed in the boob department. My hair was dark brown, long enough for a pony tail, but nothing remarkable.
Becca was supposed to be the mean girl, but aside from being blonde, having big boobs, having friends, being interested in the same guy as Brogen...she didn't really do anything that mean. Brogen walks past Becca & her group of friends a couple of times and she overhears the word 'loser' but given that Brogen is a self-proclaimed drama avoider and doesn't care about what other people think about her, I would think that that wouldn't bother her that much. The word 'slut' was painted on her locker with nail polish. THAT is the only true 'mean' thing that was credited to Becca and Brogen brushes it off like it's no big deal. I just don't see where the 'mean girl' hype is.
The most realistic part of the book was Jay. I felt like his reactions to his diagnosis were spot on and understandable. The guy has just found out that the life expectancy for his disease is 38 years old. Of course he's going to be conflicted and emotional.
And I'm once again reminded why I avoid the YA contemporary genre.