cecilia's Reviews > Lipstick Apology

Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley
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Dec 10, 11

bookshelves: faces-covers, pink-covers
Read in November, 2011

I have been staring at this book forever whenever I stop inside bookstores, but I finally decided to grab it a while back – and then proceeded to stare at it within the comforts of my own home. I am not sure why I put off reading Lipstick Apology for so long, but since I have been on a YA contemporary kick, I decided to give it a go.

THE GOOD BITS
{Life must go on...} Lipstick Apology is a story about a girl trying to move forward after an unspeakable grief. Her parents died in a plane crash – should Emily be worrying about clothes and boys and other teenaged drama? Yes, she is still grieving, but her life must go on in because the world does not truly stop for anyone. I liked the presence of Aunt Jolie who takes on the parental role and virtually becomes a single mother. She is in over her head, but she tries the best she can to do right with her niece and adjusts her living arrangements. Grieving is a work in progress, and I felt that Emily and Aunt Jolie gave their best efforts to deal with the major life changes.

{Believable characters} If I had to describe Lipstick Apology, I would probably say that it seemed honest-to-goodness real. The diversity of teenagers seemed spot-on, and I could relate to all their flaws and vulnerabilities. Or at least picture their real-life counterparts. Yes, even the immature boys who think use their irresistible hotness for evil purposes (such as humiliate a terribly sweet girl with the unfortunate happenstance of crushing on said boy). Nothing too exciting or fantastic, but a slice of life that paints a sincere and realistic portrayal of a girl whose world will never be quite the same again.

THE BAD BITS
{Lack of romance?} There were two contenders for Emily’s heart, but I did not feel that either gave their best efforts. (Spoiler :: The ever-popular Owen seemed nice enough, but I did not feel the wattage of killer green eyes that Emily did. He felt a little flat for me. On the other hand, Anthony had great potential, but he did not have enough pagetime with Emily for me to commit to their relationship.) Which I can see as a positive thing because romance – while great and comforting – may not be the best solution to a grieving heart. I guess I expected more of that romantic tension since the book summary alludes to the boys’ importance.

{Questionable ending?} Naturally I wanted to figure out what Emily’s mother meant with her cryptic EMILY PLEASE FORGIVE ME message. Emily does find out the truth eventually – but again I expected more from the truth than what Lipstick Apology delivered. I do not think Emily gave enough time to digest her mother’s actions, and while the ending may be beautifully wrapped in forgiveness, I have to admit that I am a little put out by it. I can understand and appreciate the end-result, but I feel that Emily rushed into that decision without really talking to anyone about it. If I had been in Emily’s shoes, I think I would have discussed the truth to death with Aunt Jolie at least.

THE OVERALL
Lipstick Apology is a quiet book, and I cannot say that it rocked my world in the same manner as Stephanie Kuehnert or Elizabeth Scott. This book puzzles me. It felt almost too realistic where no one really knows their purpose in life and everyone wonders around semi-confused. The different story elements - Emily's grief versus normal teenage drama versus the mysterious farewell message - did not seem to connect with each other to form a bigger and more satisfying puzzle.
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