Saturday, January 12, 2013

Novel Review: Easy by Kerry Cohen Hoffmann

Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating (Out of 5): ~2-2.5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Spoilers?: Minor/Vague?

Goodreads Synopsis:

Easy. At the ripe young age of fourteen Jessica has discovered that getting the attention she wants is just that—easy. It’s not the attention of a divorced mother who spends all of her time grieving over a broken marriage. Nor is it that of a father with a new girlfriend who’s moving on with his life. It’s certainly not the attention of a clueless older sister or a best friend since grade school who still acts like she’s in grade school. No. For some reason being noticed by her friends and family seems to have become almost impossible. Boys—and men—are a different matter altogether. With the right clothes and attitude, Jessica realizes that she can get all the male attention she wants.

What she doesn’t realize is how easy it is to get more than you’re ready for.

In this compelling and often harrowing novel for teen readers, first-time author Kerry Cohen Hoffmann delves into the mind of a teenage girl as she attempts to replace the shifting relationships with friends and family with sexual exploration.
With candid storytelling rooted in years of personal experience, Mrs. Hoffmann offers a searing look at how easy it is to take a wrong turn in search for the right answers.

Available on Amazon.


I didn’t have too high expectations for this book, but I did think it would be better than it was.
I didn’t like Jessica very much, and while I kind of understood where she was coming from, that she wanted attention, I didn’t like it. I kind of feel like she could have gotten attention from the people already around her, had she tried to get closer to them, but instead she went somewhere else. Instead, she decided to go after guys, and generally guys that were not good for her. And then, I didn’t like how she treated her friends, or what she did about the guy she liked, or generally just the people around her. And, really, the way she handled the guy she liked just drove me crazy a couple of times. It was kind of dumb, and I didn’t like it, even if there’s maybe a very tiny bit of sympathy thrown toward her as well, just because she didn’t know any better, and she needed to grow up but had to do some things to get there.
And then I didn’t really like the resolution near the end. The whole ‘slut’ thing. I just don’t feel like she learned quite the message that she could have. Yea, she grew up and decided she didn’t need men anymore and got closer with the people around her, but she didn’t really learn to move past the slut thing. I believe that she still considers what she did a slut kind of thing, and I’m not even too sure if she moved past that word when it comes to Tiffany, the 'school slut' just because her breasts grew big earlier than everyone else.
I actually would have liked to know more about Tiffany; I don’t feel like her character got as expanded as it could have been. I would have liked to know more about why she showed her breasts, and how she handled it afterward, and what kind of ‘slutty’ things she’s actually done as opposed to what everyone around her ostracizes her for.
I did, however, like the ending. The boy she meets at the end sounds cute, but beyond that, I like that she has decided to focus on her friends and family, not ignore them like she did before. That was good for her.
At first, I felt like her getting over the whole boys thing happened too fast, without enough reason or showing us that she really understood, but thinking back on it, I actually think it went about all right.
Lastly, her family. I like that Jessica got closer to her father and his girlfriend. I understand why her sister is mad at him, and yea her father is to blame for that, but they need to move on at some point. And, I don’t like their mother very much at all. I understand that she’s upset over what happened, but she needs to move on, get over what happened, and stop being such a crybaby that needs her kids to take care of her. The way she was always crying and Jessica’s sister was always there to take care of her drove me crazy; that’s not how a parent should be acting, and she deserved the harsh words that Jessica gave her.
Also, it’s kind of pointed out that their mother might have even been aware of the affair while it was happening but chose to ignore it, and if so, then she should have done something about it earlier and not been in denial about it, because that might have lessened the pain a bit.
This book kind of angered me at points, at several points, but it wasn’t completely horrible. It definitely didn’t keep me glued to the pages, as I didn’t even want to read it at a few points, would have put it down without sorrow, but maybe that’s just me. Maybe someone else will enjoy it much more than I did.

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