26 July 2012

From What I Remember...

Author: Stacy Kramer, Valerie Thomas
Series: Stand Alone
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher: Hyperion
Released: 15 May 2012
Summary: courtesy of goodreads.com KYLIE: MEXICO WHAT? I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY, and is this a wedding band on my finger.
MAX: It all started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics. Okay, it was kind of hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we're stranded in Tijuana. With less than twenty-four hours before graduation. Awesome.
WILL: Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation. Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job. And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agreed to bring their passports across the border -- but there's no reason to rush back home right away. This party is just getting started.
LILY: I just walked in on my boyfriend, Max Langston, canoodling with Kylie Flores, freak of the century. Still, I can't completely hold it against him. He NEEDS me. It's even clearer now. And I'm not giving him up without a fight.
My Review:  I’m ashamed to admit this, because I usually don’t review books I can’t finish, but full disclosure:  I skimmed about 85% of the book.  Which translates to: I didn’t read it with the same intensity that I normally read books.  The reason: this book drove me so completely crazy, I couldn’t focus.  There are a lot of reasons why I should have steered clear of this in the first place, but I wanted a fun teen read, which I honestly thought that this would deliver.  It did not.
Not only did I feel like there were waaay too many points of view; the characters are so one dimensional that I couldn’t identify with a single one.  Not only are they all self-centered, arrogant, rude, incredibly stupid and reckless.  These kids have no sense of integrity.  Reading this book basically felt like the high school version of The Only Way is Essex combined with Jersey Shore.  It was incredibly unclassy.
There is a way to make a book like this fun, and in order to do so you would have to drop about 90% of the crass dialogue.  I get that high school kids are foul-mouthed, but this honestly took it a little bit too far for me.  I’ll reiterate: this is my personal opinion, you may like all of the sexual innuendos, you may find them hilarious, but I didn’t.  There is a right way to do flirty writing, and this wasn’t it.   This was completely over the top, I didn't feel like there was any sort of affection between the characters they were so shallow.  Not to mention that Kylie’s inner-voice drove me completely irrevocably insane.  This novel felt like ...just bad.  I felt like my brain was turning to goop, and then spent the afternoon hoping not all kids are like these kids.  By the time I was finished I was reaching for Jane Eyre, or any basically novel on my bookshelf, just to remind myself that there are good authors and good books that know how to construct a good story.
To be quite honest, I haven’t been this disappointed in a YA read since I read Scott Speer’s Immortal City.  I wish I could say that I would continue reading YA books by Hollywood’s bystanders, but I won’t.  I will definitely be reading author biographies before I start reading from now on.  This felt so contrived it left me wondering if this television screen-writer was just looking to cash in on a genre that has blown up in the past few years.  I didn’t feel like this was a story that the authors felt needed to be told, it was a story that was written to sell so that people could pad their already well-padded checkbooks.

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