Ceilidh's Reviews > Bad Hair Day

Bad Hair Day by Carrie Harris
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Apr 23, 12

Read from April 10 to 13, 2012

I had the first book in the series, “Bad Taste in Boys” on my radar thanks to its gleefully kitsch 50s sci-fi B-movie synopsis yet never got around to reading it, mainly because I could never find it in UK and I’m too cheap to pay for shipping. I began reading the 2nd in the series with the typical hesitations of a reader coming into a series without the full story, but luckily it was easy enough to pick up in this short, if tiresome read. Once again, this is a paranormal YA that promises big and doesn’t deliver.

I really should have written this review straight after finishing the book, but university work got in the way, because it was entirely forgettable and I’m having trouble remembering simple elements such as character names. This isn’t a good sign. Unfortunately, “Bad Hair Day” is generic in every sense of the word. The heroine is the geek who doesn’t know she’s pretty, the handsome but bland love interest, the shoe-horned in romantic conflict, the quirky but mostly absent parents and sibling, the casual disparaging comments towards girls who present a threat – they’re all here. At times it feels like join-the-dots storytelling, especially since the pacing for this short book is completely erratic, veering between fumbled exposition and drawn out and entirely unnecessary romance subplot and shorts bursts of action that do nothing to liven up what should be a short, silly read. Despite the attempts at humour – and I did snigger once or twice – the book never fully decides whether it wants to be a camp take on kitschy horror and sci-fi or a conventional paranormal tale. I’m personally quite disappointed that it didn’t take the latter route since the genre desperately needs less po-faced seriousness.

The book reads younger than YA, with the immaturity of the supposed genius teenage heroine seeming more suited to a middle-grade character. There’s nothing in this book to outright hate, it’s just too bland and inoffensive for that.

2/5.
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Reading Progress

04/10/2012 page 36
15.0% "I know I'm juggling a lot of books right now but dammit I need to detox after my dissertation. This is so meh."
04/10/2012 page 54
23.0% "I wish the author would just go full on 50s B-movie mad science fiction double feature with the story. Instead, it's so dull, and erratically paced."
04/11/2012 page 77
32.0% "This book should be fun and it's not. It's just a slog. At least it's short but the pacing is shot."
04/11/2012 page 87
36.0% "I have to comment on the inconsistency of the tone here. The balance of comedy with more serious elements and a touch of campy horror just isn't working at all."
04/11/2012 page 132
55.0% "I can't decide whether my sudden inability to tell these characters apart is due to my total lack of interest if the story or the lack of strong characterisation. Maybe it's both."
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