Friday, August 28, 2015

Novel Review: The Book of Luke by Jenny O'Connell

Rating (Out of 5): ~2-2.5
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: MTV Books
Release Date: 2007.
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Emily Abbott has always been considered the Girl Most Likely to Be Nice -- but lately being nice hasn't done her any good. Her parents have decided to move the family from Chicago back to their hometown of Boston in the middle of Emily's senior year. Only Emily's first real boyfriend, Sean, is in Chicago, and so is her shot at class valedictorian and early admission to the Ivy League. What's a nice girl to do?
Then Sean dumps Emily on moving day and her father announces he's staying behind in Chicago "to tie up loose ends," and Emily decides that what a nice girl needs to do is to stop being nice.
She reconnects with her best friends in Boston, Josie and Lucy, only to discover that they too have been on the receiving end of some glaring Guy Don'ts. So when the girls have to come up with something to put in the senior class time capsule, they know exactly what to do. They'll create a not-so-nice reference guide for future generations of guys -- an instruction book that teaches them the right way to treat girls.
But when her friends draft Emily to test out their tips on Luke Preston -- the hottest, most popular guy in school, who just broke up with Josie by email -- Emily soon finds that Luke is the trickiest of test subjects . . . and that even a nice girl like Emily has a few things to learn about love.

The Cover:

I rather like this cover. I think that it fits the tone of the book all right, and that it prepared me well enough for what I was getting in the book. I like the lowercaps for the title, too. I think it looks nice, and it works okay for the book.


Emily is forced to move back to her old hometown when her father gets a job transfer.  Her boyfriend breaks up with her that morning, and her father ends up staying behind.  Feeling wounded over everything and trying to go back to her old life, her and her friends decide to make a book about boys for their school's time capsule, only to try it on an actual boy along the way.
I thought this would be better than it was.
Emily and her friends start making a book of advice for boys, and then they decide to use it on Luke, the most popular playboy at their school and see if they can reform him.  Luke just broke up with one of her friends, and they’re exacting some revenge.  Only she starts falling for him.
I didn’t really care for Emily or her friends, or Luke.  I just didn’t grow very attached, and I really didn’t feel the chemistry.  It just read very one-dimensional to me.  Emily was also so stuck in the past—she moves back and wants them all to be exactly like they were three years ago, and it takes forever for her to realize that things change, if she even does.
My biggest problem with the book, though, was the clich├ęd, childish thoughts they all had on boys.  None of their thoughts were original, but they were all very hypocritical—like guys can’t talk about girls with each other, but girls can talk about guys all they want.  The entire plot line revolving around the book was stupid and shallow.  Then there were snippets of advice at the beginning of each chapter, and I don't think any of it was relevant.
The ending left me very unsatisfied, as well.  After the big fall-out and reveal of their plans, there’s a big fight, and all parties are jerks to each other.  But they make up way too fast.  In one scene, they’re fighting and apologizing and then joking around again.  It felt too fast, with too little resolve.
The writing didn’t keep me interested.  There was way too much words, paragraphs of thoughts, going on and on.  I was bored, and wanted it to be over.

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