I almost didn't read this book. I wasn't really looking forward to it. After reading Bear Town about a year ago, which I didn't care for, I was afraid that this book wouldn't live up to the hype. But start it I did, and I'm glad for it.
The author's writing was probably the best part of the book. Her way with words is admirable, and I could almost see, hear and smell the area of Brittany through her words. She also was, at times, very prosaic, which I appreciate as well. Her writing really brought the scene to life, but that's probably the only redeeming feature of this book.
With wit, grit, and heart, we watch as this teen mom and culinary magician navigates high school, motherhood, and learns to trust in herself enough to go after what she wants.
Just like GWYF, there is a lot of wisdom and actionable advice in this book, told in the same no-nonsense, listen-up girlfriend kind of way. This time around, I was so much more prepared for the book and I actually treated this book like I would a college course book, taking copious notes, marking down specific passages that spoke to me, and thinking about how I could actionably apply her advice to my own life.
As a book-lover, I also loved all the references to books and titles, and all the talk about books. I could relate to that on so many levels. Having worked at a bookstore many years in my teens and early twenties, I have a real fondness for the written word and the way a story can completely transport you from the real world to a world of the author's imagining. And books have power: to heal, to help, to encourage, to make us feel less alone. All of that came through loud and clear in this novel.
If you knew the date you were going to die, how would that inform your life choices? And would you die that day because of those life choices, making it a self-fulfilling prophecy, or would you have died that day regardless?
It would appear that once again, I'm going against the grain on this one.
This story has spirit, humor, and verve, and lessons to be learned. It has the sweetness of a first romance, and the rollercoaster of emotions when faced with staying true to yourself or to the mold someone else is trying to put you into, even when it’s well-meaning, and maybe, just maybe, being brave enough to be yourself anyway.
There is soooo much wisdom in this book, told in a no-nonsense, listen-up girlfriend kind of way. ... This is one of those books that you need to keep, highlight, and return to for affirmation as often as needed.
This novel starts out with a line that could be the start of a great mystery or thriller, but this is not that kind of story. It's a slow-moving, in depth character study of human nature and the complexities of relationship dynamics. It shows how people are apt to rationalize and justify crossing a moral line to suit their purposes.