Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How To Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle

In How to Be Bad, Jesse, Vicks and Mel go on a road trip to Miami to see Vicks boyfriend, Brady who’s gone off to college. The teenagers work at the Waffle House together and while Jesse and Vicks are friends, Mel is only invited along because she has money and can finance the trip. Each of them has a secret. When they embark on their journey, these secrets are intact, but maybe not for long. Along the way, they meet Marco, a handsome young stranger, who temporarily distracts them from their “mission”. Before the trip (and story) comes to an end, they will learn a whole lot more about each other and we will learn about how “bad” these girls are.

This young adult novel about adventure, friendship, love and secrets is a collaborative novel written by three authors. Each author has written one of the three main characters. The characters take turns laying out the story of their adventure. I think their effort was successful. The novel is fun to read and very entertaining. It couldn’t have been easy sharing the writing duties and making this novel complete. However, because the authors’ styles are similar, the story came together in one cohesive unit. The different characters “voices” became muddled a few times, but most of the time it was very easy to tell who was telling the story.

The three main characters were very different from each other: Jesse is the good-two-shoes Christian girl; Vicks grew up with many brothers and is definitely not a softy; Mel is a sheltered rich girl, who’s new to the area (from Montreal). This mix of characters made the story appealing as the characters faced many decisions and dilemmas along the way.

I’d definitely recommend this book to young adults (and maybe even a few adults). I probably wouldn’t seek out separate works from these authors, but it was sure fun to read this collaborative effort. Well done.

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