Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody

My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 320 Pages
US Release Date: June 7, 2011
Challenges: Local Library Challenge


Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment.

Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure.

But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else be the one to decide which book I read for English. Or whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: Chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated!

Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever.

But don’t take my word for it, read the book and decide for yourself. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream in frustration. Or maybe that’s just me. After all, it’s my life.
-------------Goodreads summary
Notable Quote
Some things don't require practice. Some things simply work on the first try.

Do you not love the summary of this book?! I myself can relate very much to being "decisionally challenged", and I loved the premise. If I were in my teens still, I would probably follow suit and make a blog to have others make all my decisions, too! There were so many fun possibilities too, I definitely looked forward to reading this.

Mostly, my expectations were met; but unfortunately, there were some things I didn't quite like. I never really took to Brooklyn, the main character. She's funny and lively, sure, but I also felt like she was incredibly selfish. I know she's supposed to be in the beginning, but she never really lost that trait throughout the entire novel and it was bothersome. I wanted to thump her on the forehead a few times for bonehead decisions she'd make, too - which I know is why her blog (and thus, the book) exist in the first place, but even so there are parts I just wanted to yell and ask her where the hell her brain was.

I also felt like more fun could have been had with this whole 'the public makes her decisions' thing. I know you can't go too crazy or else the novel wouldn't be plausible, and it is still a teen book so you can't do any super crazy shit - but it felt so unexplored! I just wanted some fun, useless decisions to be made, too - not just which Shakespeare play she should choose. And even though I wasn't looking for some wacky, off-the-wall plot, the story was terribly predictable. Almost as soon as you meet characters and find out their relationship to Brooklyn, you knew how it would end. I was able to figure everything out really early on, even down to how things would happen, which could be frustrating as I read because I felt like I was waiting the entire novel for a character to catch up.

But enough with the bad! I know I just ranted for 2 paragraphs, but trust me when I say this was a fun, enjoyable book and I'm really glad to have read it. Brooklyn gets herself into some funny situations, and I did like how real the book kept itself. Her decisions are things we legitimately go through in high school, and it was nice to see a real teen in the pages. And even though most of the cast was predictable and a bit typical, I still enjoyed who they were. Everyone was written really well, with quirky little traits or adorable features. Brian was my favourite (as expected) because he felt like a guy I would really like in real life.

Something I really enjoyed about the book was the voice and tone - the style is a perfect YA, and Brooklyn is so clearly this sarcastic teenage girl. She's a bit snarky and a lot defensive, equal amounts of flirty girly girl and tough independent chick. Her indecision is so clear and endearing (usually), and it's expressed perfectly. Jessica Brody has the most fun writing style that works perfectly with the content.

Two random things that made me really happy: 1) that underwater basketball game she refers to that Izzy is fiddling with it while discussing the blog with Brooks, because I TOTALLY HAD THAT WHEN I WAS YOUNG. and 2) that kissy scene. ohhhh yes.

3.5 Stars / 5


  1. Andrea @ Cozy UpJuly 12, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    I definitely can relate to not being able to make decisions (when I was a teenager my friends and I made up a word for it "chooselipsey" lol) I hated making a decision, so I can see how this book could play out. It sounds kind of disappointing though, the fact that it wasn't as explored as it could have been makes me sad.

  2. fakestephJuly 12, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    I just read the description and said I HAVE TO READ THIS and then was totally disappointed that you couldn't connect to the main character and the premise wasn't explored as well as it could have been. I'm still going to have to check this out though, I think.

  3. Estelle @ Rather Be ReadingJuly 13, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    I got this book for Christmas from my blogging partner and I still haven't read it. (I know, shame on me.) I loved your review though. Super honest. It sucks when you can't connect with a main character... it's probably the worst. But I'm glad you found some positives in the book and you enjoyed your experience anyway. I know I'll get to it eventually... haha


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