Monday, June 20, 2011
Review: My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody
Title: My Life Undecided
Author: Jessica Brody
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, Giroux BYR
Pub. Date: 6.7.2011
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keywords: Blogging, Decisions, Family, Friends, Love, High School
Description (from Goodreads):
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.
Oh, Jessica Brody, you've done it again...
I adored Brody's THE KARMA CLUB and have been anxiously awaiting MY LIFE UNDECIDED for months. After all, MLU combines a teen girl, cute boys, bad decisions, funny decisions, and a BLOG. Really, the blog alone (okay, and maybe the boys) would have done it for me, but Brody goes above and beyond, which is always a good thing in an author...
At first, I worried that Brooklyn's age, 15, coupled with this particular plot would make the novel feel a bit too immature for my tastes, but I shouldn't have worried. While Brooklyn does, for the most part, act like a 15 year old, Brody's use of humor provided a healthy balance and served as a distraction. I never felt like the story was slowed... she was able to just be a confused 15 year old girl, even if the reader is a few years older. Additionally, I would feel comfortable handing this novel to a younger reader as well... Perhaps not any younger than Middle School, but there wasn't anything particularly scandalous.
I love the whole concept of this novel. It may not be entirely realistic, but, as a real life blogger, I can say there are parts of this novel that ring true. I've never had an entire blog dedicated to my life decisions, but I can't tell you how many times I've utilized Twitter when making a decision... Should I buy this? Did anyone see this movie and like it? I'm bored... what should I do? Brooklyn takes this idea to a whole new level... and learns quite a few things in the process.
The endeavor might have been slightly misguided, but many teens will empathize with Brooklyn. She's really screwed up this time around... And making the wrong decision is sometimes entirely too tempting. Having someone else make your decisions takes all the pressure off you. If it's a good decision, great! If it's a bad decision, hey... I didn't make it! At some point in your life, you'll realize that, ultimately, only you can make your decisions - it's just the way the world works - but it was an adventure to watch Brooklyn discover this for herself (and in a much more fun and exciting way than most of us do)!
I can't wait to read Brody's next offering... I fully expect it'll make me laugh... and think.