I know you didn’t ask, but I asked for this book. I was freakishly excited about it. It didn’t quite hit my expectations.
Thanks to Scholastic Aus for the ARC!
Since You Asked hit shelves on June 25th, 2013.
In this hilarious debut, Maurene Goo takes a fresh look at trying to fit in without conforming to what’s considered “normal” in high school and how to manage parental expectations without losing one’s individuality…or being driven insane.
Maurene Goo was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where she navigated her childhood by practicing extreme bossy lord-dom over her many cousins. She studied communication at the University of California, San Diego, and received a master’s degree in publishing and writing at Emerson College. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a very old cat.
Let’s start with the characters. Being a contemporary, this book is obviously character driven. And it has one of the BEST foursome friends that I’ve read in a long time (I didn’t mind Hulk/Iron Man/Thor/ Captain America…but they’re not really contemporary. Or friends.) We have the narrator: Holly. Holly is a whiny brat. She’s Korean-American, meaning her mother is full-on with wanting perfect grades and perfect children. Next: Carrie. She’s the daughter of hippies, a klutz, and awesomely sweet. Also: Liz. Liz is the should-be-plastic-Barbie-doll, but ditched the popular because they were shallow. And lastly…to break all clichés…is David. Yes! A boy! A foursome of 15-year-olds and they’re still hanging out with a boy without anyone having conflicting-romantic-issues! David is the slobby skater, dressed in hoodie and jeans no matter the occasion. The afore mentioned 3 girls are highly dramatic, so I’m not sure how he survives. Each to their own.
I loved that there was a foursome. I loved that they were real friends and there wasn’t any back-biting or sudden ditching. David and Holly are probably the closest two (they share Asian heritage). But they’re just fair dinkum friends. Nice!
But Holly…ahhh, Holly. Now, honestly, I’m sure not everyone would feel this way: but her whining got to me. SHE even says it!
I was beginning to hate the sound of my own whiny voice. Which I normally took pleasure in. pg. 229
You can tell Holly takes pleasure in whining the whole book. And it drives me insane. She has a very sarcastic tone, which is usually funny to read, but it’s all self-focused. She complains about her parents, about her crummy life, about how dumb the world is. She has a column in the school paper that she rants in, which is funny. Humorous, even. But the rest of the time she lives in a spiral of self-pity. Plus she’s always rude to her parents. I get that they’re over-bearing and annoying, but she’s never polite.
Plot? Apart from lack-thereof, it was quirky. It was basically a 15-year-old’s sophomore year in high school. We get the ins and outs of it. There was a bit of journalism stuff, which was awesome. I wish they’d gone more into that. I liked Holly’s columns. Otherwise, the plot was very disjointed. It didn’t often match-up. It’d focus on, say, Valentine’s Day for two chapters, and then ditch that completely and move onto the next Big Event. BUT, I do have to admit, that this IS kind of what it’s like to be a teen. You do move from one huge event to another. They DON’T always appear to match up. Buuut, there is the saying that, life doesn’t make sense, but fiction writing has to.
This is a funny book! It’s just not my style of funny.
Cait is not dreaming of a white Christmas. She’s dreaming of writing a new book. It involves cellos and surfing and is going to be awesome (well, the pinterest board is awesome anyway). Since she lacks the motivation to write said book, she’s dreaming of a new bookshelf and exactly how she’ll rearrange her books in it. Currently, she’s reading INSURGENT by Veronica Roth.