Saturday, December 19, 2009

Book Review: Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials

Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman. GP Putnam's Sons, January 2010. Reviewed from ARC provided by publisher.

Charlie couldn't wait to be done with eighth grade. After discovering that her best friends were actually frenemies, mean girls of the highest order, and after what they did... well, Charlie's ready for the fresh start that Harmony Falls High School offers. Starting her freshman year is exciting and nerve-wracking, but Charlie's soon plunged into the thick of it. She meets cute boys, joins the newspaper staff, and makes some real girl friends. But when the athletic boys she's crushing on start to behave badly, Charlie will find that it's not only girls who can be mean.

I mean, this book was okay. I finished it. My main complaint is that I don't see that it offers anything new to the YA shelves and it wasn't compelling or enjoyable enough to get away with it.

I did like the interesting supporting cast of characters - namely Charlie's best friends Sydney and Nidhi. But the dangerous thing about that is that Charlie seemed boring in comparison. I think either Sydney's or Nidhi's story would have been more interesting. I wanted to know more about them!

I also liked the angle of having Charlie and Nidhi on the newspaper staff and I think if that had been a bigger focus, the story might have been a little more unusual.

So, for me, this one was a miss. I'd skip it and recommend Elizabeth Scott's Something Maybe (if you're looking for boy-meets-girl) or Alyson Noel's Cruel Summer (if you're looking for queen bees).

But what do I know? Kelly over at Stacked loved it. And check out another review at Pirate Penguin's Reads.

(And for the record, the picture at top is the ARC cover and the picture at bottom is the cover being published on the actual book. I prefer the ARC cover [which is why I included it]. Which one do you like??)