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Publication date: May 13th, 2014
My rating: 3 stars
"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?"
So many mixed feelings. I don't remember last time I'd been this torn about rating a book. Or simply deciding did I like it at all. Life by Committee is a second novel written by Corey Ann Haydu and it was one of my anticipated reads after all great things I've heard about OCD Love Story. What I got in the end? Let's make a list, shall we?
- All the parts about reading. As a bookworm, I could relate with all Tabitha's thoughts about reading and descriptions of how much she enjoys this activity. I was blown away with the idea of "active reading" - taking a notes, marking your favorite parts, drawing similes and hearts on the margins of your current read and then you forward that book to someone else. Reading books with other people's notes in it. I want to do that!
- LBC webpage. "Tell a secret, receive assignment. No pictures. Just your feet or shoes." I found this part of the story the most original for young adult contemporaries. I've started to take pictures and writing down all this crazy thoughts I have. I'm not sure that I am ready to reveal them to the world.
- Lesbian best friend. Finally!!! Why does girls always have to have gay best friend and not lesbian best friend?
Why do you have to rain on my parade moments:
- My ex-best friend hates me because I have boobs and I like to talk/flirt with boys. I had a feeling like this whole part of plot supposed to be a serious approach to the subject of self-respect and the way teenagers come to the terms with their bodies and all social implications. What I got in the end is a story about hormonal girl, not that much serious dealing with the subject - just a lot of drama, drama, drama. Also, I am still not completely sure that I understood why her friends stopped talking with her.
- Cheating. Okay, we should not be judgmental, we should not support double standards about male and female sexuality, we should stop slut-shaming - I agree with all that wholeheartedly - but that is really hard to do when you have main character who acts without thinking, who whines about how other girls treat her and at the same time she does everything to prove them right and she judges other girl for the same thing. I understand how cruel place high school can be and that teenagers can be really naive, but that is not excuse for what Tabitha (and Joe) did. And she's not even that sorry. Okay...
- Parenting skills. Tabitha's parents are horrible. I am not sure if this was attempt to make them "hip" and "modern" or whatever, but I really do not care if some countries legalized marihuana or that there are a lot of people who thinks that it is not a big deal. Marihuana is a drug like any other that leads to an addiction and first step to more dangerous drugs. I do not think that this part of the story is something I'd ever want my kid to read and think how it is okay. I respect if there are people who do not agree with me, but I do not accept any drug as something normal or harmless (including cigarettes).
- Mean Girls. At some point Life by Committee lost "serious" part completely and turned into Mean Girls. It was like watching a slightly different scenes from the movie - especially ending of the novel.
To finish this up...
- Life by Committee is a novel that started promising , but ended up as a read with much more issues than positive things. This doesn't mean that there are no readers who will enjoy in this story, but, unfortunately, it was not a good choice for me.
***Copy of this book was provided by publisher, Katherine Tegen Books, via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.***