Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: January 31st, 2012
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
A few “sexy” bullet points about Jay: • He is in love with a cheerleader named Cameo “Appearance” Parnell • He is forever losing “Love-15” to tennis-playing goddess Caroline Richardson • He rocks a touché array of pop-culture references, jokes, and puns • His family-life cookie is about to crumble. Live vicariously through Jay as he faces off against his mortal enemy, gets awkward around his dream girl(s), loses his marbles in a Bermudian love triangle, watches his parents’ relationship implode, and, finally, learns to get real and be himself(ish).
Readers, I have a problem. I really liked this book. I thought it was laugh out loud funny. I enjoyed all of the pop culture references. There were even a few that I didn’t understand, and that’s saying something. Methinks that the author really knows a lot about the world today. And, he probably gets along really well with teens. But, and this is a big but, I had an issue with the fact that the “R” word is used in this book. I counted 4 times. If you don’t know what the “R” word is then this probably won’t matter to you, but it did to me. I would like to point you to this webpage ( Spread the Word to End the Word ) if you don’t understand what I am talking about. While you are there, take the pledge to eliminate it from your speech. And it certainly should be eliminated from books. You can call me pretentious, politically correct, or anything you want, and honestly, it won’t bother me because I know I am right. If, IF, you have to use this word in a book, I feel it should only be portrayed in a negative way, if at all. I’d rather not see it period, but if you have to use it, have the antagonist say it. Or have someone say it and another character tell them how much of an arsehole they are. If that were to happen then I wouldn’t be offended. But it wasn’t used that way here. It was used in exactly the way it shouldn’t have been. I’m not going to provide you with an example because I don’t want that word anywhere in my review. You cannot imagine how offensive this word can be, but if you click here, Why the R-Word Hurts, you can get an idea of the kind of damage it can cause. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Going on from here, I would probably review the characters and the plot and everything else about the book, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. Everything good about this book (and there was a lot of good) is overshadowed by the fact that that word is used. Without the use of that word, this book would have easily been a 4 star book. Maybe even a 5. I liked it a lot. But I was upset and a little bit disgusted the entire time I was reading. Sucky, huh? In the end, I was just really disappointed. At the author, the editor, and the publisher for allowing this to stay. I hope they remove it before the book is officially published, but I have a feeling that it won’t be. And it’s going to hurt somebody. When you are a YA author, and in the business of influencing young minds, I would like to think that you are setting a good example with the reading materials that you put out there for teens to read. As if bullying wasn’t bad enough, now someone is going to read this and think it’s okay. And that sucks. Hard.
Normally this would be where I would add a link to pre-order the book, but I cannot do that. If you think that giving the book 3 stars is too generous, just understand that there were some things I did enjoy, and if I gave the book 1 star, that wouldn’t feel right to me either. I hope you understand.