One-sentence summary: A 17 year old girl is matched with her best friend only to fall in love with someone else while discovering her government may not be as great as she was made to believe.
B.A.D. Girls Book Rating: 6
Our favorite thing about it: It was a quick, easy read.
Our least favorite thing about it: Weak story arc.
Main Topics of Discussion: Dystopian YA Fiction Genre, Choice, Happiness, Love, Manipulation
Our favorite quote: “Every minute you spend with someone gives them a part of your life and takes part of theirs.”
Notes: Our main takeaway from this book was that it was a fairly fun, quick, and easy read, but not the best example from this genre. We are a bit picky because we’ve read a lot of this genre and seen it done much better. We felt that there were two main weaknesses: 1) The story arc seemed really incomplete. 2) The writing was a bit immature for us and it didn’t have to be. Some of our other thoughts:
- The idea of an ultra-controlling government was interesting. The removal of choice in order to make everyone’s lives “optimal” was interesting too.
- We didn’t particularly connect with any of the characters, so we didn’t particularly care about them.
- The writing was clunky and lacking sophistication, which got in the way of enjoying the book for us.
- Some of the themes were great commentary on the subtle manipulation of a controlling government: we liked the words/writing theme, the idea of choices and destructive free-will, and the illusion of choice
- The story seemed to end too soon. We felt like what happens in the second book (which we haven’t read) should have been included in this first book to complete the story. We feel like the best trilogies still have complete story arcs in each of their separate books. This one did not feel complete – and not just because of the quasi-cliff hanger at the end.
- The main plot was driven by falling in love and making matches. It’s not a bad idea in and of itself and we definitely like the inclusion of romances and love triangles in books, but it fell a bit flat as the entire plot by itself.
Memorable Meeting Moments: We met at Frankie’s Mexican Cuisine for dinner and the restaurant staff sang “Happy Birthday” to Christina while she wore a giant sombrero! Then we went back to Stephanie’s house to fill our tumblers with wine and change into swim suits. We went swimming in one of the neighborhood pools, devoured four giant cupcakes, got kicked out by security at 9:45 because the pool closed at 9:30, and finished our evening at Stephanie’s house discussing the book!
What We Ate: Margaritas, various dishes (tamales, tacos, enchiladas, etc) and a cheesecake that the waitress brought out for Christina’s birthday. Stephanie also had four giant cupcakes for dessert – strawberry, chocolate peanut butter, red velvet and Oreo.