'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 24 July 2015

Review: How to be Bad

Jesse is a good girl. Religious, hard-working, she's also carrying a secret she can't share with anyone, not even her best friend Vicks.

Vicks is a wild child. Confident, edgy, she's willing to take risks, push the limits. She's also crazy in love with her boyfriend Brady. The same boyfriend who's now gone away to college and who hasn't called her once since he's been there.

Mel is new in town, having moved to Florida from Canada. She's clearly rich so why is she working with Jesse and Vicks at the Waffle House?

When Vicks decides she has to find out what's happening with Brady, it's time for a road trip to visit his college. Of course, Jesse is going to come; she'll borrow her mum's car and be the driver. When Mel invites herself along too, Jesse isn't thrilled but at least her money might come in handy. And so the scene is set for a weekend of adventure and bonding … with a massive alligator and a hurricane thrown in for good measure!

This is a well-written exploration of teen relationships, loyalties and friendships. It's an entertaining read with characters that go beyond the clich├ęd 'good girl, bad girl, rich girl' to deliver a story with heart.

What sets it apart though is that each of the three authors is responsible for only one of the characters, with each chapter being narrated by a different girl (and hence written by a different author). This gives each girl a clearly distinct 'voice' and style, but the book overall still works as a tightly crafted unit. Each author was a successful YA writer in their own right before How to be Bad, but they didn't know each other, so the notes at the back explaining how they came to take on this collaborative project make for interesting reading.

Title: How to be Bad
Authors: E. Lockhart, Lauren Myracle, Sarah Mlynowski
Publisher: Hot Key Books, $16.95 RRP
Publication Date: June 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781471404849
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult Fiction