Thursday, November 3, 2016

REVIEW: Girls Like Me by Lola St.Vil

I received this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Fifteen-year-old Shay Summers is trying to cope with the death of her father, being overweight, and threats from a girl bully in school.  When she falls in love with Blake, a mysterious boy online, insecure Shay doesn't want to tell him who she is.   But with the help of her two best friends, as well as an assist by Kermit and Miss Piggy, ultimately Shay and Blake’s love prevails. 

Shay is overweight and is dealing with the death of her father while being bullied by some girl named Kelly for no reason at all. She has a friend who is gay and whose dad hates him and she has another friend who is dying of cancer. Shay starts talking with a guy online and she falls for him, but she is too insecure to meet him in person because of her weight. And when she finally does meet him, the securities don't get any better. All caught up? I am sure you can guess the ending of this book as it is very predictable and honestly, not very interesting.

One of the things I did not like about this book was the narrative style. I guess it was supposed to be in verse or something or maybe the lines of text were just broken up to make them seem more poetic. Either way, it really didn't work for me. I am not opposed to books in verse; I have read several that I love. The problem is that if it isn't done right, it can be a bit jarring and it can prevent me from fully connecting with the character. In this case, that's exactly what happened. I spent so much time trying to get used to the narrative style that I couldn't really connect to the story.

I could completely relate to Shay when it came to her insecurities about her weight. The problem was that was ALL the book was about. This guy was crazy about her and even when they met, he kept reassuring her that he wanted her and thought she was beautiful, but she never believed it. At some point, I got as frustrated with her as he did because she just kept picking fights and pushing him away. Again, this is very realistic and I get it. But when her insecurities are the entire story, I just get bored. Can I also talk for a minute about the texting between the two of them? The author tried way too hard to make it seem like young people were texting, but I think the author forgot that these were two intelligent sixteen year olds. They did things like write "u" instead of "you." There were quite a few other examples, but that's the one that comes to mind first. It was just so annoying, especially since even teenagers (most of them anyway) don't really use that shorthand anymore. Even my ten year old niece spells out the word "you" when messaging me on Facebook. 

Another issue with the writing style was that the author would randomly insert sections with the friends' POV and that was so unnecessary. These sections were told in the same style as the rest of the book. There was absolutely nothing to differentiate them from Shay's POV and I would be in the middle of the section before realizing that it was the POV of one of the friends. Also, did both of the friends have to have such serious problems? I mean, come on. Between Shay's insecurities about her weight and her friend being kicked out for being gay and her other friend dying, there was just no lightness or humor or anything. It was just all angst, all the time.

I did like the ending, as predictable as it was and maybe that's why I gave it three stars instead of two. But I would not recommend it. 

Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip this one.

1 comment :

  1. Great honest review. I can totally relate to the feeling of - this book is trying to do too much- definitely ruins it for me.