Saturday, July 20, 2013

Novel Review: The Education of Hailey Kendrick by Eileen Cook

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Simon Pulse)
Publish Date: January, 2011
Spoilers?: Not Really.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Hailey Kendrick always does exactly what's expected of her. She has the right friends, dates the perfect boy, gets good grades, and follows all the rules. But one night, Hailey risks everything by breaking a very big rule in a very public way...and with a very unexpected partner in crime. Hailey gets caught, but her accomplice does not, and Hailey takes the fall for both of them.

Suddenly, Hailey's perfect life--and her reputation--are blowing up in her face. Her friends are all avoiding her. Her teachers don't trust her. Her boyfriend won't even speak to her for long enough to tell her that she's been dumped.

They say honesty is the best policy--but some secrets are worth keeping, no matter the cost. Or are they?

Something Specific:

  • "I remember feeling how small and insignificant my life must have been, that when it came crashing down, it wasn’t enough to make a ripple in the rest of the world.” (Hardback, pg. 81)
  • "She said life would be better if everyone took a time-out when they needed one.’” (Pg. 236) I believe this.
  • "Maybe that’s how you know someone loves you; they make you want to be a better person by believing in your effort, not just your accomplishments.” (Pg. 237)

The Cover:

This is a pretty average cover; it's simple, not very embarrassing. It's bright, kind of pretty, kind of fitting and makes sense for the contents. I don't really have much to say about the cover, even.


I’ve read two other books by Cook, and enjoyed them but they were still rather average reads. I ended up getting this one because I found it really cheap a while ago. I’m not even sure why I kept picking up her other books, seeing as how the first one I read was good but averagely forgettable; I think I was just attracted to her books for some reason, maybe partly hoping one would be amazing. I don’t know. Either way, I found this one to be rather enjoyable, and now hope to pick up her other books at some point.
This story is about a good girl who does something bad, resulting in her life going steadily downhill afterward. I’m usually lenient toward those types of books, but this one was particularly good. Hailey Kendrick, the good girl, goes to a boarding school, has a lot of friends, and is dating a very popular boy, whom she’s been going out with for quite a while. They seem to have the perfect relationship. Also, Hailey’s father has avoided her at just about every opportunity since her mother died (thus the boarding school), but he made plans with her to do something for the summer, as well as for her to have a big party. But then he cancels on her, she has a freak attack and gets pissed off, and sneaks out of the dorm. Where she runs into a friend of her boyfriend (and her, but less so), where they vandalize a piece of school property, and kiss. Thus ruins her good girl reputation and several of her relationships.
I liked Hailey. I felt she had a good, clear voice, and her reasonings were understandable. Overall I liked her. And I completely understood her feelings toward her father and the other adults around her. She grew a very good amount by the end of the book, and that was nice.
I liked how her relationship downfall happened. The one with her boyfriend happened very well and understandably, and I liked where they were by the end of the book. The one with her best friend also happened well, and I liked where that went.
The romance progression was very nice. It wasn’t perfectly clear-cut, either, which I really liked. And the person she ended up with I liked, and I think they fit together rather well.
The ending might have been a bit too good, have ended a little too well, might have been a bit cheesy on one part, but that doesn’t really bother me. I liked it. The assembly was a bit much, but her realization on certain things worked well, I think. 
Overall, I really liked this book, to a surprising extent. I want to read more like it, and I hope to pick up others by Cook as some point.

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