I read this book back at the beginning of the month, so I’m a little foggy on it, but I do remember enjoying it for the most part. There were some problems with it, but it was still absurd in a funny way for the most part.
The main issues were the girl-shaming, the clichés, and the fact that it sometimes got too absurd and went past being funny. Kylie could be very judgmental of other characters, including the other female point of view (it switches between four seniors, including Kylie and Lily (I think that was her name), as well as Kylie’s younger, probably autistic, little brother), which is always frustrating and disappointing. Lily also doesn’t seem to go far beyond her poor little (formerly) rich, popular girl cliché, and she’s not the only character who seems a bit flat. All of the characters can get quite over the top to the point where it isn’t funny, it’s just unrealistic. There’s also the fact that the word “retard” gets thrown around a few times, which is especially disturbing when there’s a mentally challenged point of view character who is portrayed in a positive light.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that one character, Kylie, was Mexican-American and much of the book takes place in Mexico, so there’s some diversity, and it really was funny much of the time, but it’s definitely more of a fluffy, fun, slightly problematic read.
As I’ve mentioned multiple times here, I’m not a big fan of the classics. Too often books that are over thirty years old get automatically categorized as “school books” in my head, and since I don’t like being told what to read and that’s kind of how school works, it’s not a positive association. When I decided to do my Adult Fiction Challenge, however, I thought that throwing in some classics could help me broaden my horizons even more. Even though many of the adult books I’ve read this year haven’t been for me, I really enjoyed this mystery.
This book is fairly small, but that wasn’t why I was flying through it. I was trying so hard to figure out who the killer was, switching back and forth as I got further into it and the victims started piling up. When the big reveal came, I was both frustrated that I didn’t get it right and greatly entertained by the elaborate and detailed explanation.
All in all, I enjoyed this mystery and can definitely see why it’s one of Agatha Christie’s most popular books.
I’ve had a bit of a bumpy track record with Sarah Ockler’s books, so I was definitely worried about her latest one. This book did help me figure something out, though: I seem to enjoy the books that focus more on families (returning to your grandparents’ town and dealing with your mother/aunts drama; father getting early-onset Alzheimer’s) than the others (going to the beach after a boyfriend died; helping out a hockey team and falling for a player; and now something to do with cheating and social media).
I only read one chapter of these book for a couple of reasons. Mainly, it was due back soon and I either had to read it really quickly or I would have to put it on hold and wait for it to get in again, which can take me way too long. But I don’t know how much I would have liked it if I had had more time to read it. I knew that I normally didn’t like the initial chapters of Ockler’s books, even ones that I liked overall, but this initial chapter was just too much for me to go on. There was a prom that was apparently themed (I’ve never heard of a prom where people dress up in costumes instead of slightly expensive dresses you’ll probably only wear once), there was some girl-shaming, there was an obsession with some online zombie game, and the boyfriend of the main character’s friend who the MC went to the prom with as a favour to the friend is already acting like he’d be perfectly fine with cheating on his girlfriend. I don’t always hate cheating storylines, but it definitely needs a lot more build-up.
So, I definitely didn’t read enough of this book to fully judge it, but from the chapter I forced myself through, it definitely isn’t for me. If you like all of Ockler’s books, then there’s probably a good chance you’ll like this book, but otherwise I can’t recommend it based on the little I read.