Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Review: Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

Title: Life by Committee
Author: Corey Ann Haydu
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Source: Katherine Tegen Books via Edelweiss
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Some secrets are too good to keep.

Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat.

Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.

Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.

Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.

But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?
Review by Nara

Secret: I kissed someone else's boyfriend.
Assignment: Do it again.

Wow. I honestly did not expect this book to be so amazing. I have to admit, the book did start off a bit shakily- the initial chapters were basically just Tabitha pining over Joe, a classmate who she communicates with frequently online and who she apparently loves, despite his having a girlfriend. This initial drama was a bit much, to be honest. But then she found the Life by Committee website and she began testing her boundaries, and woooow. I was hooked.

Joe was a freaking douchebag. Seriously, the entire book, I had no idea why Tabitha "loved" him. He kept making these stupid excuses about why he wouldn't break up with his girlfriend, yet continued to string Tabitha on. Such excuses included: "it's complicated", "you know I can't leave her, she's fragile", "we'll talk about it later" and other such no nos. NOT ON, MATE. NOT ON.

You know who else was freaking annoying? Tabitha's former friend- Jemma. OH MY GOD. GTFO GIRL. She was so self-righteous and so bitchy and ugh. Every time there was an interaction between her and Tab, I couldn't help but feel angry. Bit of background: Jemma tells Tab that she doesn't want to hang out with her because Tab is "a bit of a slut". Seriously, all that Tab did was gain some curves and get a bit more interested in guys. It was nowhere near "slutty" behaviour. STOP WITH THE PERSECUTION, JEMMA. MY GOD.

Well, we should move on from the shitty characters and talk about Life by Committee. Which is this website where you have to tell people a secret to be able to remain a member of the site- and the moderator, who goes by the name of Zed, will set "assignments" to do with your secret. Holy crap, half of the assignments were ridiculous. Things I would literally never ever do. I won't spoil the surprise of what they were (well, there's obviously the "do it again" one from above, but I won't spoil the others) but seriously. Never. I really loved seeing how Tabitha didn't immediately jump into the tasks- she deliberated. She felt conflicted. She was entirely realistic.

The ending did tie things up nicely, but my god, it was cheesy. Basically, think Mean Girls. And sunshine and rainbows and everyone being happy. But you know what? I didn't really care. So it was cliched. So it was super cheesy. What's more important was that it was cheesy and cliched in a way that was supremely satisfying. Which probably doesn't make sense. So ignore this paragraph and basically know that the ending was awesome. Kthxbye.

Secret: I loved this book
Assignment: Push this book on anyone and everyone. EVERYONE.


Overall: 9/10
Plot: 4.5/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 4/5