Ciara's Reviews > Spoiled

Spoiled by Heather Cocks
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's review
Oct 19, 2011

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bookshelves: crummy-chick-lit, read-in-2011
Read in October, 2011

i didn't expect this to be great literature. i picked it up solely because i have been reading the go fug yourself blog for six years, i think it's fun & clever, & i was curious to see how those ladies transferred their wit to a young adult book. this was just as frothy & silly as i expected (in a fun way!), but it was also a little more formulaic than i expected. it was as if they outlined it using a guidebook on how to write chick lit (such things exist). down-to-earth indiana girl molly dix's mother dies after a struggle with cancer, but not before confessing that molly's father is in fact the world-famous actor brick berlin. it's is molly's mother's dying wish that molly move in to brick's palatial estate in los angeles & get to know him. one hitch: brick has another 16-year-old daughter, brooke, by another woman (apparently he married brooke's mother before molly's mother got in touch to let him know she was pregnant...even though brooke is a couple of months older? wouldn't that mean that he cheated on brooke's mother with molly's mother & then went home & married brooke's mother? whatever). & brooke is not excited about sharing her father & the possibility of an attendant celebrity spotlight, with another girl.

it's your typical fish-out-of-water story, as brooke backstabs molly & makes her life miserable. of course a couple of good samaritans (who inevitably turn out to be loyal, intelligent, funny, & if male & straight, attractive) take molly under their wing & help her learn the ropes. molly is befriended by crafty shelby, whose father runs "hey!" magazine, a celebrity tabloid. molly's new friends max & teddy warn molly that shelby is only using her to pursue a life-long vendetta against brooke, but molly doesn't listen & hijinks ensue. eventually the shit hits the fan & molly & brooke repair their relationship, only for an accidental betrayal to rip it asunder again, which causes molly to flee back to indiana to take care of some unfinished business & try to make her peace with her new life.

there is A LOT about this book that makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER. if i were dying of cancer, i'm sure i would be very distracted, but hopefully i'd be able to get it together enough to realize that maybe the best course of action for my teenage daughter would NOT to be to rip her away from the only world she has ever known, including a boyfriend, a best friend, a spot on the cross-country team, & loving grandparents, & send her packing to a celebrity in los angeles. i don't know if this was some kind of satirical winking conceit on the parts of cocks & morgan, or if it was just a very sloppy & implausible way to set up the story. & although molly is always pretty upfront about the fact that she's in los angeles because her mother died, you'd think that she'd be a little bit more emotionally destroyed. when my dad died, i was pretty fucked up for like three years, & i wasn't a teenager when he died, nor was i still living at home & relying on him for full-time parenting.

the "black moment" at the end also made no sense. (the "black moment" is when it looks like everything is going wrong for the protagonist, the ultimate conflict.) it didn't really seem any worse than anything else that had happened in the book. that only thing that made it worse was molly's reaction, & her reaction was fairly inexplicable. it's like cocks & morgan had her react more dramatically in order to amp up the drama of the moment, but they didn't really earn it, you know?

which...fine. it's not like these ladies were gunning to be national book finalists or anything. they're not looking to supplant war & peace on any book lists. so it's not the best writing (or plotting, or characterization...) in the world. i expected froth, i got froth. i only felt sad because the book is chock-full of name-dropping & pop cultural references. it's what i expected from the fug girls, but it means the book is going to be unforgivably dated within a year. there were some cute little winks, like naming a character jennifer parker (mary mcfly's girlfriend's name in the "back to the future" movies) the end of the day, i have read far worse young adult books. i mean, this is arguably better than bumped, which i reviewed a couple of months ago. just know what you're getting into & don't expect anything more.
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