Sunday, August 15, 2010
Eliza has a notebook. In it she writes everything she secretly wants to do but is too scared to try; silly things, serious things, huge things, tiny things. Things like kissing a boy, singing kareoke in front of strangers, and confessing secrets.
And then her notebook falls into the hands of the 318s, a group of boys at her high school. And along with her ex-boyfriend Cooper, they're blackmailing her. She must do all the humiliating things she's afraid of doing, in just one night. Or else.
This was a fun read. I call books like this "fluff" - quick, fun, and cute. Romantic-comedy-type books aren't my usual genre and this particular book wasn't particularly outstanding or exciting, but this was a sweet little story that made for a fun evening.
I liked the spin on a conquer-your-fear storyline, but honestly this plot wasn't very special. I've read books with quite similar plots tons of times before. For me, at least, there were no huge twists or unexpected surprises, and I don't really like books whose endings are apparent from the first two chapters.
Again, the characters were cute but nothing really special. The main character, Eliza, was nice and fairly well-written, but with no real surprises or interesting traits. The can't-let-go-ex was a little overdone at times, and Eliza's sidekick-friends were really odd and unrealistic-feeling. Regardless, I identified with Eliza's voice and I found myself liking the somewhat-villain, Tyler, very much.
Eliza's narrative was fun and I liked Barnholdt's style. She did quite a good job of coming across as a realistic teenage voice, and most of the emotions felt very real to me. I have to say, however, that using words like "pic" in published books is for me, at least, a no-no. Yes, the voice is a teenager's voice, but at times it got a little too relaxed and slangy for me. Also, while Eliza's emotional confusion about her ex and the challenges she faces on the Fateful Night is fairly well done, she reiterates it a lot and by the end of the book, frankly, it gets a little old.
End Result: Three Stars. A decent book, but not amazingly excellent.