This is somehow a magical blend of adult Sarra Manning + Sarah Mayberry + Jennifer Crusie. It's funny and sharp and serious, with seething workplace rThis is somehow a magical blend of adult Sarra Manning + Sarah Mayberry + Jennifer Crusie. It's funny and sharp and serious, with seething workplace rivalry and career drama coupled with crazy great chemistry and delicious banter. It also has unbelievably sweet and tender moments (view spoiler)[one of my favorite parts is them simply holding hands (hide spoiler)], though you'll easily laugh a minute after that! It captures that weird obsessive behavior you can't help when you first fall in love, and also convinces you that after a hard-won relationship, these two won't ever stop being endearingly, ridiculously fussy over each other. Hate-to-love relationships are so fun when they're done well, and this is the best one I've read, in no small part because the "hate" part is pretty convincing in the beginning. It hits all the tropes and scenarios you've read before, but the way they're done here is just irresistible.
Katy's review also talks a lot about the heroine's feelings of loneliness and failure, as well as the way a big argument between them is resolved: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... I feel so much affection for them both--it's one of those things where you come out so pleased that they found each other.
In short, it's basically everything you could possibly want out of a romance, with the added benefit of having so many cute and quirky details in it. I felt giddy with happiness reading this book, and I kept trying to prolong the experience because I know it's the author's only book...so far! I can't wait until the next one. <3 Hurry up, Thorne #2.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
If Regina George wanted to be Homecoming Queen, there'd be hell to pay for anyone who got in her way.
This is pretty much the premise of the WINNING,If Regina George wanted to be Homecoming Queen, there'd be hell to pay for anyone who got in her way.
This is pretty much the premise of the WINNING, which is immensely readable and keeps you on your toes. Just when you think one girl is about to swindle another, the other girl almost always manages to see it coming and turns the tables. I liked that we saw various different POVs, and that one of them was the Queen Bee herself, Alexandra Miles. She's a ruthless, manipulative schemer without an ounce of pity, and her determination to win her crown (with the kind of loopy logic that only exists in rom-coms) spares no expense or feeling.
The thing about MEAN GIRLS, however, was that the film was not only a satirical look at social hierarchies in high school, but it was also so freaking funny. That's where the weakness lies in WINNING; it's definitely entertaining, and you want to see people get their comeuppance, but it's neither sharp-witted enough in its narrative and dialogue, nor smart and original enough in its plot to go down as a truly great and memorable book. (view spoiler)[Did you know, btw, that Tina Fey based her screenplay on a non-fiction book called QUEEN BEES AND WANNABES? There's a real basis for all those girl fights. (hide spoiler)] And then the door is left open for a sequel as well? Bleh.
Still. Points for an unabashed anti-heroine, for juggling multiple POVs well, and for a lesbian BFF subplot. These girls are cruel to each other, and it's weirdly gratifying and fun to watch...but not quite as fun as it could've been. I want a story like this to be screamingly funny--and to really go for the jugular, not just settle for a slap on the wrist.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.
Side note to those who might get upset over these things in YA, with spoilers: there's liberal back-stabbing and underage drinking, (view spoiler)[an adult is caught doing drugs, and Alexandra crushes pills into a drink and deliberately gives it to a couple of her enemies. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more