Author: Paul Rudnick
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Length: 304 pages
Source: ARC from Publisher and Rock Star Book Tours
One last chance. One wild weekend. Flat out the funniest book of the year.
My name is Caitlin and up until forty-eight hours ago I had never:
Tasted alcohol, kissed a boy, sang in public at the top of my lungs, kidnapped anyone or--WHAT? STOLEN A CONVERTIBLE?
Now I'm in jail and I have no idea what I'm going to tell:
The police, my parents, the mayor, all of those camera crews and everyone on Twitter.
I have just noticed that:
My nose is pierced and I have-WAIT? IS THAT A TATTOO?
I blame one person for this entire insane weekend:
My famous cousin.
Who is also my former best friend.
Who I have HATED for the past four years.
Who I miss like crazy. NO I DON'T!!!!
IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT, HELLER HARRIGAN!!!!
Protagonist: This book is told from the point of view of Caitlin Singleberry, yes that's her actual last name, don't ask me why. Anyway, Caitlin is your typical all around "Good Christian Girl" which means she's uptight, pious, and stuck-up. Heller Harrigan, Caitlin's famous cousin is her polar opposite, she's a bitchy party-girl who's fallen off the wagon one too many times. It's when these two characters come together and balance each other out that they can start to look at their lives, and each other, in a whole new way. While I was annoyed with Caitlin's sanctimonious nature a lot of the time, but sometimes it can be downright laughable, in a good comedic way. Over the course of the book, though not as soon as you might think, Caitlin begins to loosen up and realize that no one's perfect, not even herself.
Romance: So there's really isn't much romance in this book. Honestly I debated even putting this section in here, but there is a romance in this book, a love triangle in fact. It's not your typical love triangle though, it's not over the top, no one drops the L-word, and it's a fun and scandalous romance for Caitlin to be caught between two boys. There's some great irony written in to the romance and some really meta moments that were really fun to read.
World-Building: Gah! There's so much to this world that I loved. First off, Heller stars in this big blockbuster YA series turned movie series. With it comes all of these great meta YA moments. Even though I know it's fiction and I don't know how much research the author put into it, I'm assuming a lot based on how real it feels, it's so interesting to see this side of things, how stressed out actors get, how they feel about online backlash of casting choices, and how one person's opinion can send the internet, and the actor, spiraling. I felt as though this was the perfect backdrop for the story and lended a lot to the story progression and some of the humor and appeal of this book. There are definitely a lot of pop culture and bookish references made, though most of them are masked with thinly veiled pseudonyms. There's a lot to this story to enjoy and learn about.
Predictability: So I have to say, other than a few things, this book was fairly unpredictable. From the start we know that somewhere down the line in the story Heller and Caitlin will end up in jail, but the ride on the way to the slammer isn't as cut and dry as you'd think. I loved seeing the way things were twisted and just how much of Caitlin's freak out was her overreacting and how much of it was the truth.
Ending: So this book doesn't really have a final climax, I mean, I guess all of the stuff after we catch back up with Caitlin in jail and how that's dealt with could be considered the final climax, but as I was reading it I never felt that doubt about where the story was going to go, that tension and feeling like things may not quite go right. The final chapter served as the cool down and there was a lot to love about it. The ending wasn't super idealistic, it still felt real and the characters still felt so real. While I know this is a stand alone I can't help but want to know what happens next.
I'm actually surprised that I ended up giving this book five stars, when I first started it, things were a little slow, Caitlin was an annoying character, but once the story got going and I got to see more than just the surface of these character's personalities I really got invested into this world and ended up loving this book!
About the Author:
Paul Rudnick is a critically acclaimed novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. His screenplays include In&Out and Addams Family Values, and he’s written for Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, and the New Yorker. His plays, including I Hate Hamlet and Jeffrey, have been produced both on and off Broadway and around the world. His first young adult novel, Gorgeous, was called a “wicked good time” by the New York Times Book Review. Under the pen name Libby Gelman-Waxner, he is also the world’s most beloved and irresponsible film critic. Paul lives in New York City. Find him online at http://paulrudnick.com/ and on Twitter @PaulRudnickNY.
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