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I Belong


Early Review: How to Meet Boys by Catherine Clark

howtomeetboysTitle: How to Meet Boys

Author: Catherine Clark

Genre: YA Contemporary

Series: N/A

Publication Date: May 6, 2014

Format: Paperback, 320 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062264516 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062264510 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin

Synopsis:

Find out what happens when you fall for your best friend’s worst enemy in this hilarious tale of a forbidden first love and forever friendship. The author of Maine Squeeze and Love and Other Things I’m Bad At, Catherine Clark, has once again crafted a romantic coming-of-age story that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

Lucy can’t wait to spend the summer at the lake with her best friend, Mikayla. But when Jackson, the boy she’s been avoiding ever since he rejected her, reappears in her life, Lucy wonders if this summer to remember is one she’d rather forget.

Mikayla’s never had much luck talking to boys, but when she (literally) runs into the cutest guy she’s ever seen, and sparks fly, she thinks things might be looking up . . . until she realizes the adorable stranger is the same boy who broke her best friend’s heart.

As things begin to heat up between Mikayla and the one guy she should avoid, will Lucy be able to keep her cool or will the girls’ perfect summer turn into one hot mess?

Quick & Dirty: As contemporary reads go, this one disappointed me overall, for many reasons. The writing and characters did not live up to the fantastic cover.

Opening Sentence: “Is this it?”

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Lucy and Mikayla are moving back to Bridgeport for the Summer, and they are determined to break their shy shell while they’re there. But nothing is turning out as planned. Lucy’s working with her old friend Jackson, who dissed and spread rumors about her in 7th grade, plus Mikayla can’t seem to talk to boys without rambling or being extremely clumsy. When Mikayla falls for someone Lucy has called off-limits for, a fight begins. What will it take to fix the summer and their friendship?

To tell you the truth, I wasn’t impressed with this book — in the slightest. When I looked at the cover, I thought “aww! I bet this one is great!” (I tend to judge a book by its cover, oops) I was bitterly disappointed. Everything was basic about How to Meet Boys, and no matter how hard I tried to give it a chance, I wasn’t feeling it. I’ll explain why: the plot was extremely unoriginal, as were the characters, the plot, and the writing style. The writing style irritated me most. Is it amateur hour? It was so incredibly novist, and we got little insight on what the character was thinking. When we did, it was in simple sentences like “the guilt was crushing” or “I was worried.” Novels have to be very unique and fun to get me to enjoy them a lot, especially contemporary ones, since we can’t usually throw in a dragon or a couple of murders. To top it all off, the humor did not make me laugh. This book made me yawn and although the cover made it seem promising, I won’t ever open this one again.

This was told from two points of views, Mikayla and Lucy. I didn’t identify with either. They’re both bad with boys. Lucy never takes chances since Jackson blew her off, and Mikayla can only stutter when faced with a cute guy. I was on Lucy’s side most of the book because I honestly thought Mikayla was being an annoying brat. Once she accepted that she was not the one being wronged, and started to see Lucy’s side of the story as well as her own, I softened and started to like her better. Then we have the boys. Jackson, Mikayla’s love interest, I never started to like. From the start I hated him with a passion, for his unrealistic perfection when he was supposed to be the one who ditched Lucy. I had heard so much from Lucy’s POV about how he had bashed any chances for her to take risks, and trust boys, and then we are introduced to this amazing, hot guy? Lucy tried to kiss him, he said “um, no”, and rumors sprung up around school. When he apologizes (finally) I was still not satisfied. Lucy was, and even forgave him, which personally I thought was ridiculous — but what can you do? Gus, on the other hand, was sweet and a little dorky, making for an adorable romance. I also liked how he was different from the traditional love interest. Generally, we have the dark, mysterious one, or the funny, light one, always with blonde or brown or black hair. Gus has red hair, he’s a ginger! Yay! I loved this one piece of originality that strayed from the typical novel boy. It felt like a victory to me.

Altogether, I had expectations that were unfulfilled, and they weren’t all based on the cover. I wanted an exciting plot line, a unique romance, some humor. I laughed once in this whole novel and I’m a laugher, so I feel rather let down. The writing style was basic to the point that warranted an eye roll, and the characters were so-so. So much could have been resolved if everyone hadn’t been so stubborn, why can’t they open their mouths until the end? I have no doubt that this will please certain others, but I have high standards (being a book reviewer and all) and was not satisfied. If the plot interests you, go for it- maybe you’ll like it more than me.

Notable Scene:

It was just like Claire had said: he’d dated a hundred girls since that dumb incident with me. Summertime had barely begun, and here he was, hooking up with someone.

Then I looked closer. The girl was tall with long, wavy brown hair, and was wearing plaid shorts that showed off her long, toned legs.

Jackson? Kissing Mikayla?

Or should I say: Mikayla, kissing Jackson?

Seriously?!?!

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FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of How to Meet Boys. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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