May 15, 2014

Latest Read: Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
Publication date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received via Netgalley from publisher (Thanks!)
Summary: Tabitha might be the only girl who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed & they’ve dropped her. Now Tab has no one to tell about the best & worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his secrets to her in their nightly online chats & is someone else’s boyfriend. Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe. Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own. But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go? (Adapted goodreads.com)

The good
Life by Committee is not a simple, black and white novel. It’s super messy and takes a long, unflinching look at how people react to hurt, rejection, loneliness and that desperate desire to be understood. Even when I was horrified by what was going on, I felt sympathy for these characters. (Well, most of them.) And the person I felt for the most was Tabitha, better known as Tab. She’s a young girl with an atypical upbringing and at the moment, no one to call a friend. Unless you count Joe, the guy she’s been talking to every night who happens to be someone else’s boyfriend. (So one, he doesn’t count and two, he sucks.)

It really surprised me how quickly I took Tab’s side. I typically hate cheating in books and while that statement still stands, there was something so likable and relatable about Tab in spite of the many questionable choices she makes. Maybe I’ve just become more understanding about the mistakes people make when they’re young. Or maybe I just get that loneliness can make a person go a little crazy. Maybe both. Tab is growing up and while she’s still the same girl who loves books and works in her parents’ cafe, she also likes wearing cute clothes, playing with make up, crushing on boys. This is not a crime. Except her ex-friends seem to think so and drop her because she’s pretty. It always makes me sad when I see cattiness like this but the truth is, it’s real. I’ve been friends with these types of girls. (Surprise, surprise - we’re not friends anymore.)

On top of all that, Joe still won’t break up with his girlfriend. And her very young parents (who Tab calls by their first names, which threw me in the beginning) start having problems of their own. Mostly revolving around Tab.  It isn’t too far of a stretch that she searches for something to belong to, which makes the online community Life By Committee perfect. At first. I have to admit, I thought it was pretty cool. An anonymous place to share secrets and have people support you and push you to take risks. But then the risks take a dark, almost cult-like turn and you have to wonder what exactly Tab has gotten herself into. The whole situation was thought-provoking and made me reflect on online communities, friendship and honesty.

(No) reservations
There was maybe one moment that happened “behind the scenes” that I wish we could’ve been privy too. But otherwise, no reservations at all about this book!

Do I recommend?
Yes! It’s such a good book. It’s a really different concept and if you’re at all intrigued, I highly recommend checking it out.

Collaborative feature with Alexa! 

Have you ever been a part of an online community? (Book Blogging excluded.)
The first online community I was a part of was the Dawson's Creek fandom. First it was mostly following other fan sites and reading fanfiction. Then I reached out to one of those fanfic writers and for some reason, she decided to help me put together my first real website - Pacey and Andie's Place. (Deep down I was always a Pacey & Joey fan but these two were cute too!) It was actually through my site and that community that I eventually met Estelle and we created a Dawson's Creek fan site together. Even though I didn't think of it as an online community at the time, it was fun to have these online buddies who loved this show as much as I did. 

1 comment:

  1. I love that you and I were both involved in fandom sites first! And yay for Dawson's Creek (though I only started watching it when I was a little older and not when it was first airing). Apart from that, I really liked Life by Committee! It's a strong and authentic contemporary story, with characters that I could root for and relate to in different ways.

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