ARC Review – Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

18741761Title:  Life by Committee

Author: Corey Ann Haydu

Rating: ★★

Synopsis: 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?

Huge thank you to Katherine Tegen Books and Edelweiss for this ARC!

River’s Review:

I don’t think I really liked this book that much. Like… I didn’t hate it, but I def. didn’t like it. I think because I didn’t really like, or even really KNOW Tabby. She’s supposed to be this plain-Jane turned sex-slut over night because she gets bigger boobs and blonder hair but she doesn’t really come across as either of those things. Her parents are basically hippies and they own a coffee shop, her dad’s a pot-head, her mom’s pregnant and they act more like roommates than parents/child. Tabby spends all of this time hating on Sasha (a super artsy-hipster girl) but I think that Tabby is really WAY more like Sasha than ANY one else.

I guess the way that Tabby was portrayed really, really bothered me. Everyone was on her case because she “changed”. I’m sorry, but growing up doesn’t mean that you say ‘oh boy I’m going to “change”‘. It means that you GROW UP. It’s not like she chose to go through puberty and get a larger bra size, IT JUST HAPPENED. And sure, she chose to start caring more about clothes and boys, but it NEVER seemed like she was OMG OBSESSED with both like everyone made it seem like. She has a crush on Joe, who has a girlfriend (but still flirts with Tabby online and eventually takes their hook-ups offline), but she’s not like, throwing herself at guys and making out with them all over the place or having sex all the time. And her clothes were never really this huge focus for HER, but they were for everyone else. Even her school’s guidance counselor gets on her case when really I just felt like there was never any NEED for ANYONE to be all up in her face. And there were times when her dad was like ‘why are you so angry?’ but Tabby never came across as an angry teen. So yeah… the characterization of the MC could have been done A LOT better.

Also, Tabby and Joe really bothered me. I’m glad with how things ended, but it made me SO mad that Tabby was hooking up with him KNOWING that she was basically just a friend-with-benifits. It was so obvious. I mean, I’ve been there, and when you’re young and want to be with a guy so badly you’ll do anything, but it still bugged me a lot. I would have liked to have seen Tabby questioning things WAY earlier in the book.

The LBC parts with the website and the members of the website were really cool though. I liked the idea that Tabby joined this group of people online and felt so at home and got so caught up in sharing her secrets and doing these basically self-destructing ‘assignments’. I also know how it feels to be young and a part of something online where you can be as artsy and flightly and beautiful as you want. Where you can take photos and filter the hell out of them so you look like someone you wish you were. I get it. So I thought that was cool. And I liked how the assignments did push Tabby to try new things and how inadvertently fixed the problems that she originally had.

And the ending… I’m so torn about it. Like, it was a beautiful movie-type ending, but real life? Yeah right. Totally unrealistic. So yeah.

I did like the writing in this (despite a lot of typos that I hope are fixed in the finished copy), so there’s that.

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