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How to Be Bad
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How to Be Bad

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  1,753 ratings  ·  212 reviews

From the authors of ttyl, Bras & Broomsticks, and The Boyfriend List come three unforgettable characters and one exhilarating novel

Vicks is the wild child whose boyfriend has gone suspiciously quiet since he left for college; Mel is the newcomer desperate to be liked; and Jesse will do anything to avoid a life-altering secret. Each one has her own reason for wanting to

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by HarperTeen (first published May 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

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Sep 22, 2009 Tatiana rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009, ya
"How to Be Bad" is a collaborative effort of three YA authors out of which I am familiar with only one - E. Lockhart. In fact, her name on the cover is the only reason I picked up this book.

This is a story of three girls: Jesse - a strong willed and opinionated Christian with an air of trailer trashiness about her who just found out her mother has cancer; Vicks - a tomboyish and independednt amazon whose boyfriend recently started college and hasn't called her in two weeks; Mel - an insecure ri
3.5 stars, I think.

I liked this book while I was reading it. How to be Bad was a lot of fun, and there were some good, funny scenes, some nice, semi-touching ones and some other ones that probably weren't necessary, but okay, whatever.

I just feel like... it could have been a little bit better. I'm not sure why; as I said it was a pretty good book. But it didn't feel fully rounded to all it wanted to be.

The characters, I think, could have been a little more developed. The only one who felt real
This was a light, fun road-trip read about three friends from Niceville, Florida. The chapters alternate from girl to girl (Vicks, Mel, and Jesse). Jesse & Vicks have been friends the longest, and now Mel (new girl with a rich family) is befriending them as they all work at a local waffle place. The story takes place over the course of a weekend when the girls go on a road trip and essentially do many 'badass' things. I definitely got a feel for each girl's unique voice, but I wasn't that im ...more

How to Be Bad was a fun read and really put me in the mood for a road trip despite all the things that went wrong for the characters in the book. I also really want to go to Disney World now! :P

How to Be Bad was told in alternating chapters from the perspectives of three girls – Jesse, Vicks and Mel. Each girl wanted to go on the road trip for a different reason, and while Mel (the newest member of the group) started off as little more than a stranger, they got to know each other during the
Summary: Sometimes it doesn't matter where you're going, since getting there is half the fun.

Jesse. Vicks. Mel.

Three girls who couldn't be more different.

But all three of them want the same thing, to get out of Niceville, Florida.

Vicks, the wild child.
Her boyfriend left for college and isn't returning her calls.

Mel, the good girl.
All she really wants, is for everyone to like her.

Jesse, the all-around christian.
She has discovered a life changing secret.

Each has their own reason for getting into
Jesse, Vicks, and Mel are all residents of not-so-appropriately-named Niceville, Florida. Jesse is fed up with her mother and just wants to get away. Vicks, the wild one, misses her boyfriend who left for college two weeks ago. Mel is the rich but sweet girl who just wants to make friends. Somehow these three coworkers end up on a weekend road trip. Jesse provides the car, Mel has the cash, and Vicks encourages the spontaneity and excitement. Though the destination is Miami, pit stops and detour ...more
How To Be Bad is a collaborative novel between three well-known, often-beloved YA authors. It is the story of three girls--three teens--three waitresses from a small-town Waffle House in Florida. Jesse is an uptight religious sort running away from her mom's diagnosis, Vicks is Jesse's best friend who is feeling more and more like a was. The growing distance between the two is unacknowledged, unspoken, but definitely present. Vicks has a boyfriend in Miami. He is also feeling more distant and lo ...more
I got this as an ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy) from Random House. For some reason they send me all of E. Lockhart's new books. Not that I mind, I really like her. This one, How to Be Bad is actually a collaborative effort between E. Lockhart, Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski. They all decided to write alternating chapters from alternating points of view (3 girls). All three girls live in Niceville, FL and work at the Waffle House. (I find this very unfortunate, because as a Floridian, I can thi ...more
Jul 01, 2008 Elizabeth rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Advanced Reading Copy
Shelves: arc, ya, recently-read
How to Be Bad tells the story of three girls who head out on a roadtrip through the state of Florida, each one trying to escape from something different. There is Jesse, the devout Christian who has recently learned her partying mom has cancer; Mel, who feels lost both in her own family and in her new town 9and possibly in her gigantic house); and Vicks, who hasn't heard from her boyfriend much since he left for college, and is struggling with trying to be the bad-ass she and her friends think ...more
Sep 15, 2008 Nian rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
Road trips always change things. When three completely different girls hops onto a station wagon, they never expect the ride to change their friendship or learn little life lessons. Their one goal in mind is to get out of Niceville, Florida—and not just for the fresh air, either. Jesse—the one who’s driving—is trying to escape the harsh reality of her mother being extremely sick. She convinces best friend Vicks to tag along so she can visit her college-attending boyfriend and ask why he hasn’t c ...more
Summary: How to Be Bad is not that bad of a book. The story line of three girls running off for a road trip and experiencing such events is a bit far fetched. Despite the practicality of the events the stroy line is pretty good.

It is told by three different authors in three different point of views of each of the girls, Vicks, Mel, and Jesse. There is, of course, a character for everyone to love: a good girl with money, a poor girl with issues, and a crazy girl with a boyfriend problem. Their f
Jun 18, 2008 Melynda rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Ever since I picked up "Bras and Broomsticks" a few years ago, I've been a big Sarah Mlynowski fan. When I heard that she was collaborating with 2 other phenomenal authors, E. Lockhart and Lauren Myracle, I knew it was one that I had to read. And I did! It is a great story.

It tells the story of Vicks (a badass only-daughter in a family of 6), Jesse (a glory-hallelujah Christian with a cancer-stricken mom), and Mel (a Canadian transplant with zero friends), three teens working at the Waffle Hous
Erica Leigh
It was hard to get through this one; I just wasn't terribly invested in any of the characters or their stories. Jesse started out as one of the most unlikeable/annoying characters ever, but sort of redeemed herself towards the end. Overall, none of the characters were really fleshed out. I felt like the authors didn't reveal enough about them. The story I thought it was a little boring (and I didn't expect it to be. I mean, it's a ROAD TRIP...I expected more adventure than a trip to Di ...more
This was a quick, fun read. Nothing amazing, but I liked how each of the character had their own struggles and how those resolved by the end. The bit about shy Mel finding a boyfriend so easily was a bit over the top, but still nice so I could forgive that. But I liked how Vicks had to get over the terrible influence her brothers had had on her and I liked how Jesse was able to resolve her religiosity with the idea that maybe God wasn't quite so petty as she was making Him out to be. (If her sto ...more
Three girls (who don't necessarily get along) head out to Miami on a road trip. On the way they meet hot guys, alligators, and cheesy pirates.
The random stops they go to on the way reminded me of John Green's "Paper Towns". This novel wasn't as good as I thought it would be, but it wasn't boring either.
This novel called How to be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle was pretty good. There are three main characters name Vicks, Jesse and Mel. Vicks and Jesse are two best friends that have been friends for a while. They both work at this morning deli place and that's where they meet Mel. Mel is a rich girl who doesn't have to work but yet she choices to because she wants to be on her own. Well, Vicks gets along with Mel fine, in fact Vicks has a boyfriend who just went off to c ...more
Feb 04, 2015 Kay rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the authors, fans of noughties chick-lit YA
Until January of this year, How to be Bad was the only YA novel of E. Lockhart's I hadn't read, and am I sorry for that. 2015 me adored it - 2009 me would've been bouncing off the walls with joy.

The three authors come together to tell a story of friendship, change, and discontent, and you're with them from the start. There's no blocky style change you often get when reading something co-written; though each of the three main characters is written by a different author, the narrative blends so s
May 07, 2009 Meg rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Imagine this is a long-lost Baby-Sitters Club Super Special, from when they're all grown up and Kristy has become a Christian. Then it'll work for you.
I've always been lenient with reviews, the plot wasn't quite clear but with this book and having different perspectives it wasn't necessary to have such a strong one. I adored the friendship, it showed these girls grow in just a weekend. They laughed, they cried, they fought but in the end they left this trip stronger than ever. The book did make me mad..especially when they went to Disney World because it made me have this strong urge to go myself. Haha ;) The sentence on the ba
Ms. Pansulla
E. Lockhart is one of my favorite YA authors in any genre, so I'm always excited to try her stuff, and I've liked other books by both Myracle and Mlynowski, and this was entirely enjoyable, easy read- perhaps too easy for some, some of the emotional arcs came off a little too neatly. Plus, it's a road trip book, and I love road trips. That's really why I read it; when summer starts to call, I want to start planning getaways (although I have never stolen a car to achieve an outing!). Extra points ...more
Full review at

Summary: Jesse’s mom has cancer. Vicks’s boyfriend went to college and hasn’t called. Mel is desperate for friends. So they all pile into the car for a road trip.

Review: First, a disclaimer. I haven’t had great luck with books that have alternating points of view. With that said:

* The Bad—The narration in this book alternated between the three girls, and I didn’t ever truly connect with any of them.
* The Good—I enjoyed the writing, and the
Best friends, Jess and Vicks, aren’t clicking like they use to, so Jess has a plan that will bring her and Vicks close again - a road trip to see Vicks’s boyfriend, Brady, who is at University. There’s only one issue, they don’t have enough money to fund the trip. Enter Mel, the new girl. Mel volunteers to help them fund the trip as long as they take her along with them, much to Jess’s dismay. What follows is a hilarious and endearing tale of friendship and love with a couple of crocodiles. Laur ...more
How to be Bad has been on my booklist for a long time now and I finally got a chance to read it. It wasn't exactly what I expected but that didn't deduct from the awesome factor of this novel one bit. I can't remember a time when I ached for the book to end (as seems to be the case with a lot of the other books I've been reading lately); I was intrigued all the way through. I fell in love with the characters and found myself caught up in their drama as if I were right there on the road trip with ...more
How to Be Bad is a fun story about family, friends and an ancient stuffed alligator.

The three-way split narration told the stories of three very different girls. Vicks is bright and spunky, Jesse is very religious and a little uptight and Mel is quiet and eager to be liked. All three added different dimensions to the story with their opposing characters and backgrounds. The only one of the girls I didn’t like was Jesse. She was far too religious and preachy for me to gel to her.

With the three gi
Any book written by Sarah Mlynowski, E. Lockhart, and Lauren Myracle is bound to be good. Especially is the title is How To Be Bad. So getting to read this, I was one happy camper. And I wasn't wrong. It was a light, warm chick-lit novel, which I was lucky to get, being in need of one. The characters were relatable, the plot was quite . . . interesting, and I loved it. You could say ... I learned how to be bad. ;)
The character I related to the most was Mel. We actually have quite a lot in common
Trisha W.
I have had this book on my shelf for a while and after I started it I could not put it down, I wish I would have read it a long time ago. I feel in love with all the characters in this book. It really reminded me of when I was in school, it had lots of girl fights. You know the ones, the she said this and she said that and now i'm not talking to you kind of fights. I found them really humorous in this book, I think because it reminds me of myself and my friends when we were growing up.
You meet
Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
Roadtrip book!! Jesse and her BFF Vicks haven't been clicking lately, so she decides to take her on a roadtrip to fix the distance. Only Jesse wasn't counting on Mel, the new girl, tagging along.
We have:
Jesse- super religious, very opinionated, lives in a trailer with her mom. She just found out her mother has breast cancer and doesn't want to deal with it.
Vicks- Wild-child only sister of 4 brothers. Missing her boyfriend who just started college at "The U" and wonders why he hasn't called or te
Welcome to !NEWSFLASH! the review thingy were i empress you all with my brilliance! (not!) It felt real.

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

That's what made the book. In this book we have 3 different characters. All stereotyped.
The bad girl Vick, Jesse the goody-two-shoes and Mel the all round nice girl.


3 girls Jesse set out on a road trip to find themselves. They soon learn to
love and trust each others. Its truly a heart warming story. Its not all sugared up.
The girls sometimes act like bitches. They
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for

HOW TO BE BAD is the perfect book for a girl-bonding summer road trip adventure!

Three girls, each with their own internal struggles, head out on a weekend road trip to Miami to visit the one girl's boyfriend. Vicks and Jesse are best friends. Mel is the newcomer but envies the friendship Vicks and Jesse share and invites herself along for the trip, offering to pay for lodging, snacks, and fuel.

Jesse is dealing with her mother's recent cancer diagnosis. Sh
This book is about 3 friends that they met in their school. Jesse is the main character in the book. In the beginning of the book Jesse finds out that her mom is going out with this guy and that he telling his mom to do personal things for him and Jesse tells her mom to to do them stuff because thats not right and anybody could find out about. Jesse mom responded to her " Don't worry about my life, worry about your life ill do what ever I want". Jesse and Mel the next day in school meet this gi ...more
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E. Lockhart is the author of We Were Liars, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, The Boyfriend List and several other novels.

Liars site:
Twitter: elockhart
More about E. Lockhart...
We Were Liars The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver, #1) The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them (Ruby Oliver, #2) The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon—and me, Ruby Oliver  (Ruby Oliver, #3)

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“You think Tide is better, or All?'
'Which has a prettier box?' I ask.
'I don't want a pretty box. I want a dude box.'
Uh-huh,' I deadpan. 'You want a dude box of laundry detergent.'
'Yes, I do.'
'Good luck with that.”
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