Thursday, January 28, 2010

Of All The Stupid Things (YA)


Of All The Stupid Things. Alexandra Diaz. 2009. [December 2009]. Egmont. 272 pages.

Of all the stupid things he could have done, Brent Staple had to go and do that.

Did he or didn't he? Did Tara's boyfriend, Brent, mess around with a cheerleader. A guy cheerleader? When Whitney Blaire tells Tara he did, then she believes her best friend. Without giving much of a chance to Brent to explain. He does deny it, by the way. But the idea of his being with another guy so disturbs her--whether it's true or not--that she can't be with him.

And no one at school has ever mentioned anything about Brent swinging both ways. Not now, not before. I feel like someone played a cruel joke on me, just to make the thought haunt me at night. Part of me argues that I should take Brent back because the incident really wasn't true. That said, knowing the rumor is false still doesn't change the images swimming in my head. (32)
OF All the Stupid Things is a messy book. Overly complicated by having too many narrators. The story is told through three characters. Three supposed best friends. Tara. Whitney. Pinkie. I think if this story had been Tara's alone it probably would have worked better. Tara's story is the main focus, in my opinion, her falling out of love (or lust, or like, or whatever) with Brent, and falling into love with someone new. Someone the cover claims is "forbidden." Step aside, Brent, and walk right in Riley. A gymnast who sweeps Tara off her feet. Tara never thought she'd have a girlfriend, but now that she's met Riley, well, she's so happy with her.

The main problem I had with this one is how mean and unsympathetic and annoying most of the three narrators were. Whitney was someone I didn't just dislike, I absolutely hated her. She was mean. She was spiteful. She was as horrible as horrible can be. Pinkie I didn't dislike so much as I just pitied her. As in cringing while I read her narration because I just felt so absolutely sorry for her. (By the end, I actually started liking Pinkie.) And Tara, well, Tara I was indifferent to. Mainly.

I also thought the jacket flap gave 100% of the plot away. It was definitely way too much information. Jacket flaps should tease readers into picking up a book.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 comments:

Elisabeth Marie 2:15 PM  

I kind of understand the jacket flap giving it away a bit, I think that's basically fair to those who go into a "romance" book expecting boy-girl "love" or whatever you want to call it that they can relate to..

Becky 2:24 PM  

I see your point in a way. It is nice to know what to expect. I guess what I thought was "too much" was that they were telling the inner motivations of the characters--particularly Pinkie and Whitney. When there are no surprises left to discover in the book itself, that's too much in my opinion.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP