How To Be Bad, E Lockhart, Lauren Myracle, Sarah Mlynowski

Vicks is the wild child whose boyfriend has gone suspiciously quiet since he left for college; Mel is the newcomer desperate to be liked; and Jesse will do anything to avoid a life-altering secret. Each one has her own reason for wanting to get the heck out of their nowheresville town, even just for the weekend. So they climb into Jesse’s mom’s “borrowed” station wagon and head south. Hearts will be broken, friendships will be tested, and a ridiculously hot stranger could change the course of everything.

Having read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and We Were Liars, both by E Lockhart, and loved them, I had high hopes for How To Be Bad. Sadly, I wasn’t enamoured with it. It promised great things: three girls, and an American roadtrip. I love those kinds of books (and films – and actually I think this would make a great film), but I struggled to particularly like any of the characters. I could get why they acted how they did, and they had some great adventures, but a lot seemed contrived. I found, too, that the way it was written – switching chapter-by-chapter between the three main characters’ points of view – made it jumpy, sticking on the same plot points to get the different angles.

Having said that, it wasn’t a bad book. It was fairly enjoyable, and I didn’t stop reading it. Probably, at 14 or 15, I would have enjoyed it a lot more, not least because at that age, everything they did would have seemed incredibly exciting. And, like I say, I think it would make a great film, because I think a lot of my problem was the narrative form rather than the plot.

Other categories How To Be Bad fits into: a classic romance, a funny book, a book by a female author, a book set in a different country, a book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet, a book with a love triangle, a book by an author you’ve never read before

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