Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Being Friends with Boys - Tera Elan McVoy

Synopsis: Charlotte and Oliver have been friends forever. She knows that he, Abe, and Trip consider her to be one of the guys, and she likes it that way. She likes being the friend who keeps them all together. Likes offering a girl's perspective on their love lives. Likes being the behind-the-scenes wordsmith who writes all the lyrics for the boys' band. Char has a house full of stepsisters and a past full of backstabbing (female) ex-best friends, so for her, being friends with boys is refreshingly drama-free...until it isn't any more.
When a new boy enters the scene and makes Char feel like, well, a total girl...and two of her other friends have a falling out that may or may not be related to one of them deciding he possibly wants to be more than friends with Char...being friends with all these boys suddenly becomes a lot more complicated. (From Goodreads)

This book is completely adorable. I found myself reading this straight through, just because I was so wrapped up in Charlotte's life and the different paths all of her relationships are taking. I wasn't completely expecting the music and band element, but that was a nice surprise. I always like when characters are able to come out of their shells in a big way, and gaining the courage to sing in front of other people is definitely a great way to show that transformation.

I loved that this book isn't straightforward. It doesn't have a formula or a point A to point B kind of plot line. Charlotte's life feels real and a little messy. She tries something out and it doesn't work. She tests out a direction and realizes it's not taking her where she wants to go and she turns back. She gets lost quite often - both figuratively and literally - but she uses the people in her life as guide posts to find her way back. One of my favorite scenes in this book is one where Charlotte and  her best friend, Trip, are wandering around a residential area and they get lost, compose a song about Hansel and Gretel and how they used bread crumbs to find their way back, and in the process find themselves un-lost. That scene is kind of the epitome of the whole book, and I kind of like it as a metaphor for life too. Some times you do get lost, but if you're lucky, you have someone there with you to turn it into an experience and to help you figure out where you need to go.

My only issue with this book was the way that girl friends are portrayed. Obviously, this came up, given the title. I knew there'd be some sort of comparison between being friends with boys and being friends with girls. Both gave her problems, but the boys always chilled pretty quickly and those problems were resolved pretty well. The girls in this book though, had pretty much no redeeming qualities. They were either fake, or scattered, self involved, uncommitted, or catty. A couple might have been leaning towards okay by the end, but they still had that image slapped onto them. I have to say that there are some girls who make pretty awesome friends and I kind of wish all those relationships hadn't just been dismissed.

I also have to say that once I hit the last four pages, I kid you not, I literally read each page twice because I didn't want it to end. Then I finished it and read those four pages all together two more times. I was grinning like crazy and I went to bed feeling so happy. Just thinking about them now, makes me giddy. Ah, so cute. I definitely loved this book, and especially coming into summer, this is a great one to read and lift your spirits.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Being Friends with Boys - Tera Elan McVoy

Synopsis: Charlotte and Oliver have been friends forever. She knows that he, Abe, and Trip consider her to be one of the guys, and she likes it that way. She likes being the friend who keeps them all together. Likes offering a girl's perspective on their love lives. Likes being the behind-the-scenes wordsmith who writes all the lyrics for the boys' band. Char has a house full of stepsisters and a past full of backstabbing (female) ex-best friends, so for her, being friends with boys is refreshingly drama-free...until it isn't any more.
When a new boy enters the scene and makes Char feel like, well, a total girl...and two of her other friends have a falling out that may or may not be related to one of them deciding he possibly wants to be more than friends with Char...being friends with all these boys suddenly becomes a lot more complicated. (From Goodreads)

This book is completely adorable. I found myself reading this straight through, just because I was so wrapped up in Charlotte's life and the different paths all of her relationships are taking. I wasn't completely expecting the music and band element, but that was a nice surprise. I always like when characters are able to come out of their shells in a big way, and gaining the courage to sing in front of other people is definitely a great way to show that transformation.

I loved that this book isn't straightforward. It doesn't have a formula or a point A to point B kind of plot line. Charlotte's life feels real and a little messy. She tries something out and it doesn't work. She tests out a direction and realizes it's not taking her where she wants to go and she turns back. She gets lost quite often - both figuratively and literally - but she uses the people in her life as guide posts to find her way back. One of my favorite scenes in this book is one where Charlotte and  her best friend, Trip, are wandering around a residential area and they get lost, compose a song about Hansel and Gretel and how they used bread crumbs to find their way back, and in the process find themselves un-lost. That scene is kind of the epitome of the whole book, and I kind of like it as a metaphor for life too. Some times you do get lost, but if you're lucky, you have someone there with you to turn it into an experience and to help you figure out where you need to go.

My only issue with this book was the way that girl friends are portrayed. Obviously, this came up, given the title. I knew there'd be some sort of comparison between being friends with boys and being friends with girls. Both gave her problems, but the boys always chilled pretty quickly and those problems were resolved pretty well. The girls in this book though, had pretty much no redeeming qualities. They were either fake, or scattered, self involved, uncommitted, or catty. A couple might have been leaning towards okay by the end, but they still had that image slapped onto them. I have to say that there are some girls who make pretty awesome friends and I kind of wish all those relationships hadn't just been dismissed.

I also have to say that once I hit the last four pages, I kid you not, I literally read each page twice because I didn't want it to end. Then I finished it and read those four pages all together two more times. I was grinning like crazy and I went to bed feeling so happy. Just thinking about them now, makes me giddy. Ah, so cute. I definitely loved this book, and especially coming into summer, this is a great one to read and lift your spirits.

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