Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MY LIFE UNDECIDED by Jessica Brody

Title: MY LIFE UNDECIDED
Author: Jessica Brody
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, Giroux (a Macmillan Children's Publishing Group imprint)
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Number of Pages: 320
Source of Book: ARC review request from publisher
Author's Website: http://jessicabrody.com
Book Website: http://mylifeundecided.com

Publisher Summary:
PLEASE READ THIS! MY LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!

Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment.

Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure.

But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else be the one to decide which book I read for English. Or whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: Chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated!

Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever.

But don’t take my word for it, read the book and decide for yourself. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream in frustration. Or maybe that’s just me. After all, it’s my life.

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MY LIFE UNDECIDED is a super-cute book with a wanting her to get it right, unique premise. What a great idea in today's online world - Brooklyn is screwing up all the time because she's making bad choices - so she decides to let anonymous blog readers make the choices for her. It was a predictable book, but in a good way (kind of like watching a teen movie). The story turns out how I would expect, but took an entertaining and interesting path to get there. Brooklyn is dealing with the pressures to be better what with her older sister seemingly being the perfect one, with her supposed best friend keeping her in the right clothes and looks for being popular, and with her parents pressuring her to make better choices. But as she comes to realize later in the story, "Perfection is only a word that makes you feel bad about yourself."

This book provides strong messages for today's teenage (and sometimes older!) girls in a straight-forward way that is clear, but not too preachy because it's all done in Brooklyn's great teen voice. Jessica Brody has written a fun character who talks right to the reader and is funny, sarcastic, sassy, at times frustrating, but figures it all out in the end. She comes to realize that normal feels safe, but may not be the best choice. This book shows the fickleness and somewhat ridiculousness of high school social constructs, but with Brooklyn's struggle it's a realistic portrayal of the difficulties teens face in being popular versus being oneself. It's a book about learning from mistakes and making choices. It's also about her realizing that she has choices and doesn't have to do what's expected. It's breaking out from the mold of high school public opinion to what really makes her happy.

And, of course, there's a romance storyline throughout. There is definitely going to be a guy you're rooting for - and wanting to shake Brooklyn for not seeing what's right in front of her. It's obvious that the dorky, but caring guy is the one she should be with, especially when she realizes that he just gets her - even when she isn't figuring it out for herself. Brian is the guy who helps her realize that she should be with "the person who makes [her] feel like [she's] worth something...all on her own." In the end, Brooklyn realizes that "sometimes the most obvious choices are the hardest to see" but I don't see anything hard about the choice you should be making to read this book!
*Don't forget to enter my giveaway of a galley of this book HERE.

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