You Are SO Cursed! by Naomi Nash
Smooch, 2004, 198 pages
I remember once being told that if someone is giving you criticism, it is because they are invested and want you to improve. This usually means you see some potential there. For these reasons, my review for You Are So Cursed! will be short.
The saving grace of You Are So Cursed! was its length. Like this review, the book, too, was brief. And that’s really all I can say about that. I try not to be too harsh, but I couldn’t think of a single thing that I actually liked about this book. The characters were poorly developed, the plot was not intriguing, the writing was dry, the concept was trite, and there were multiple instances of slut-shaming or general misogyny. The book also felt incredibly dated – I could tell I was reading something that might have appealed (at least in clichéd content) to early-2000s teens (or, you know, middle school me). But today? Definitely not quality literature.
💔 out of ❤❤❤❤❤
Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender
Disney-Hyperion, 2010, 352 pages
Alexis’ little sister is acting weird. She’s withholding information, obsessing over a school project, and generally being a brat. Meanwhile, Alexis is dealing with the usual trials of high school: boys, popularity, and general adolescent discontent. At least she’s got Megan and their growing friendship. But will Alexis’ equally growing knowledge about her sister challenge that friendship?
Alexis is a caricature of every I’m-so-goth-and-hate-cheerleaders character I’ve ever read. She consistently complains about every aspect of her life, making it incredibly difficult to find anything likable about her and thus care about her story. The only thing in life she does seem to like is photography, which is frequently interrupted or damaged by her sister. Meanwhile, she struggles with her mother’s ambition, her father’s desire for a social life, and her sister’s little-sister-ness. She dislikes people based only on what they are, rather than who they are. And while she grows and finds a friend in Megan, this lesson does not seem to infect other people in her life. Her personality is uncomplicated and therefore uninteresting, while the remaining characters are similarly underdeveloped.
Overall, Bad Girls Don’t Die had an intricate plot involving too many dead characters to keep track. Partly because of the complicated structure and history of the novel, the horror of passages were lost. None of the scenes were truly scary, leaving the story with one less element to increase its value.
Alender’s writing style is generally unremarkable, though not poor. The occasional phrase stood out as something unique and beautiful. In general, the sentence structure, vocabulary choices, and voice was nothing spectacular.
Bad Girls Don’t Die seems to tie up nicely, but is followed by a sequel, From Bad to Cursed.
💔 out of ❤❤❤❤❤