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Month in review

Reviews
Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems
Blackout by John Rocco
The Cereal Murders by Diane Mott Davidson
Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff
E-mergency by Tom Lichtenheld
Evernight by Claudia Gray
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (audio) by E.L. Konigsburg
Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 19 by Hiromu Arakawa
Golden Gate by Vikram Seth
Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch
Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite by Barry Deutsch
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Monoculture by FS Michaels
Museum Trip by Barbara Lehman
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Night Circus (audio) by Erin Morgenstern
NNNNN (audio) by Carl Reiner
No and Me by Delphine de Vigan
Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Perfect Shot by Debbie Rigaud
Press Here by Hervé Tullet
The Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George
The Rules for Hearts by Sara Ryan
The Shocking Pink Hat by Frances Crane
Sweet Revenge (audio) by Diane Mott Davidson
The Technologists by Matthew Pearl
There is a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems
Three Black Swans by Caroline B. Cooney
What's a Ghoul to Do? by Victoria Laurie
Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Of All the Stupid Things: 12/22/12

cover art

Though presented as a teen LGBT romance, Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz is a story of the long term friendship of three girls, nearly torn apart by rumor and the entry of a new girl into the mix. The three friends are Tara — the popular girl and health nut, Whitney Blaire — the wealthy snob, and Pinkie — the girl who keeps everyone together.

The book opens with the same shocker as Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend by Carrie Jones — Tara's popular, jock boyfriend is said to have been seen making out in his car with another boy. Whether or not the rumor is true is inconsequential to the book — it's all about the reaction to the rumor.

In Jones's book, her boyfriend really does come out of the closet and the remainder of the book is her very personal coming to terms with his outing. In Of All the Stupid Things, the arrival of Riley (the new girl) in the middle of the drama, stirs up feelings in Tara that she's never had before. In this regards, the book reads like Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters (link to review) with the negative reaction being more from Tara's friends than from her family.

The thing, though, that prevented the book from working for me was the reliance on three points of view. Each of the three main characters — the original friends — gets her own chapters. The points of view cycle through from Tara to her friends and back. These alternating chapters hinder the development of any one protagonist as a fully realized character and doesn't give enough time for Tara and Riley's relationship to grow.

After all the drama circling around the rumor and Tara realizing she has feelings for Riley, the book's conclusion focuses on a completely insignificant plot thread. Having read the book cover to cover I hoped all the threads would come together in some sort of satisfying conclusion. But it doesn't. It just sort of stops with Tara reaching one of her goals.

Two stars

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