Monday, July 29, 2013

fml, and Simon's life too

Book:  fml
Author:  Shaun David Hutchinson
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Date:  Available now
Source:  Publisher via Edelweiss
My grade:  A-

There’s more than one way to get the girl in this fun and fast-paced novel about one epic party and a kiss that could change everything.Tonight’s the night: Simon’s big chance to finally get with Cassie. Cassie, who he’s loved for ages. Cassie, who is newly boyfriend-free. Cassie, who just happens to be throwing the biggest party of the year. Simon’s plan is simple: He’ll go to the party, she’ll fall in love with him, they’ll make out like crazy, and the night will be a complete success.

But things don’t ever go as planned…especially when it comes to Cassie.

In two alternating plotlines, Simon goes after the girl of his dreams and stumbles toward his destiny. It’s one night, one party, and a thousand ways for things to go wrong…but a million ways for them to go right.

Initial Reaction
This book was like a Jedi mind trick!!!

Cover Story
I really like this cover, with the exception of one thing.  I think it’s completely white-washed.  Why would you do this, Simon Pulse?  Here you have a fantastic cover design with all the little bits of pieces of a party night and then you don’t even put a girl of color on the cover when a girl of color is the main crux of the plot??  Really?  Am I missing something here??

What’s the Story?
This book is about choices.  And how one choice can change everything.  Or maybe not.  Actually, I’m not sure if this book is trying to make a statement about anything like that.  But it is a story about a boy learning to grow up and move on, so I suppose both story lines are really about Simon sort of coming into his own.  Or not.  Oh hell, I don’t really know but I do know that I enjoyed the book and I liked seeing the two different storylines separate and interconnect and I liked watching Simon step out of the shadow and take that first real step into becoming a man.

Now, at first, I didn’t think that I would like this book.  It sort of snuck up on me.  I was a little befuddled to begin with since the story kept changing back and forth based on the one decision.  I was sort of ho-hum and then suddenly, I found that I really liked Simon and cared about what was going to happen to him.  In that “I would like to slap some sense into the main character” sort of way.  Because I could see Simon’s potential if he would only get his head out of his ass, or Cassie’s, as it were, long enough to see what was right in front of him.

Honestly, at the end of the book, I can’t really remember which decision led to which part of the night, but it really doesn’t matter because they all led to sort of the same conclusion.  And I loved that conclusion.  So the details are really unimportant.
But the details!  Ah, the details!  This book was full of fun details.  It all takes place in one long night at a high school party.  Remember those?  I do, which is probably why I want to lock my 15 year old in the dog kennel and not let her out except to go to school.  This was one of those parties.  Imagine Jake Ryan’s house at the end of the party in Sixteen Candles and that is what Cassie’s house will look like.  And it was crazy!  The party was full of moments that were funny, absurd, cringe-worthy, endearing, horrifying and much, much more.

The characters were good, too.  I eventually came to love Simon.  I never really cared for Cassie too much and I didn’t see what the big deal was with her, but who am I to judge?  The best friends were good and the whole high school cast of characters was there.  I have to say that I liked the storyline with Stella showing up earlier in it because I loved Stella!  She rocked!

I’m glad I stuck with this one.  I was just coasting along when suddenly, the roller coaster ride of the book took off and I couldn’t let go until it stopped.  And even in the moments where I wanted to hide my face, I couldn’t help but watch and enjoy all the thrills when I reached the end.

The Soundtrack

(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party) by The Beastie Boys

Popular by Nada Surf

Last Friday Night by Katy Perry

Girl Is on My Mind by The Black Keys

Almost by Bowling for Soup

Straitjacket Feeling by All-American Rejects

The Final Grade
The final grade for this one is an A-.  It lost some points for a slow start and for leaving me a little confused at the beginning, but by the end, I just loved Simon.  No matter how much I wanted to smack him.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  I received no compensation, financial or otherwise, for my review.  Not even an invitation to an all-night kegger.

1 comment:

  1. It doesn't matter whether you take the highway or the back roads, you'll always reach the destination you were meant to reach.

    Thank you for the lovely review. I love FML being referred to as a Jedi Mind Trick. :)