So a while ago, I looked up “best contemporary YA authors,” and stumbled upon a blog chain of people citing their top ten favourite contemporary authors. Which was good for me, because it’s introduced me to a few new books and authors. One of those was Kody Keplinger. I remember reading about her a while ago, since she published the book as a teenager.
Age of the author aside, the book stands on its own merit. I liked this book. It challenged the “slut” stereotype, giving us a protagonist who slept with one guy a huge amount of times but was still dignified, bitchy and respecting of herself – now that’s a girl I like, even if it is troubling to promote meaningless sex with a guy you purportedly hate.
There were a few problems. Namely, the love triangle and the quick resolution of some deep issues. Okay, first I’ll touch upon the love triangle – while not opposed to them in general, I think this one in particular was a little cliché and too quick to develop. Sure, Bianca’s had a crush on Toby for three years. Sure, she doesn’t realise she’s madly in love with Wesley. But why can’t she realise that without going out on pointless dates with him?
And the quick resolution of all her issues…well, I won’t spoil it, but let’s just say that all of the problems are tied up with a nice little bow, then shoved away and never looked at again. There are no repercussions for Bianca. Nothing to mark the fact that she’d done some really stupid things. It felt like a cop-out to me.
Oh, and one more thing – Wuthering Heights. Bloody Wuthering Heights. It seems that so many romance books include comparisons to Linton and Heathcliff.
But saying that, I really did love this book. The love interest was a complete dickhead, which I liked. The main character, Bianca, was a sarcastic bitch and a hypocrite, which I also liked. The messages about sex (it’s okay to do it with someone you hate as a form of escape – it’s okay, you’re not a slut!) were a bit troubling, but I liked the “don’t judge” message. A nice debut. 3.5/5.