Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Life By Committee by Corey Ann Haydu: Review - Essentially, It's Mean Girls!

Life by CommitteeTitle: Life by Committee
Author: Corey Ann Haydu
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository 

Some secrets are too good to keep. 
Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat. 
Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.
Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.
Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.
But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?

I thought the whole premise of this book sounded so intriguing. You reveal a secret and get an assignment that you have to complete in order to keep that secret safe. It doesn't give too much detail about what the Committee is but I was instantly intrigued. I was surprised to find that LBC was actually a website and I wondered how they would let everyone know her secret when they had no information on her. I'm sure anyone who is good with computers could track her IP address and everything else, but still.

When I got to the end of this book it had a scene that was so reminiscent of Mean Girls that I had to laugh. But then, quite suddenly, all these other comparisons to Mean Girls became even more clear to me. The story sounds so far removed from Mean Girl but, trust me, there are so many ways that this is similar. So, excuse all of the Mean Girls gifs but once I made the connection between the two that was really all I could see.

Why it's like Mean Girls:

Tabitha has some great friends who she loves. But one day they tell her they don't want to be friends with her any more because she' started dressing different, acting different and become more obsessed with getting a guy than with being their friend. So it's essentially:
From this.

To this. 
And her friends go all:



Tabs becomes obsessed with Joe, a guy from her school who she feels she has some deep connection with. She's not at all bothered by the fact that he has a girlfriend. In fact, she'd be willing to bring down the girlfriend in order to be with him. Essentially what Cady tries to do with Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls.

So deep & meaningful. Why aren't they married yet? 
Tabs gets up in front of her whole school and admits some of the bad things she's done. Let's be honest, that's basically this scene:


And this then prompts her whole school to get up and give their own embarrassing confessions. It's a nice idea but it's unrealistic and it's also just the sharing assembly from Mean Girls. 


By the time I got to the end, I just wanted to go grab my DVD of Mean Girls and watch it, because at least that would make me happy and make me laugh. Something that LBC failed to do. 

I had quite a few problems with Life by Committee, my main one being how it portrays drug use and the main characters attitude towards it. I have never done drugs, don't ever plan to do them and don't really see why so many people find them appealing. I was lucky with the fact that when I was very young my mum's godson was a drug addict, and the things he did to get drugs and everything he went through put me off EVER trying them. I still remember being at their house on New Years Day when he came home, his best friend had overdosed and died and he was devastated, swore he'd never touch drugs again - that lasted all of five minutes. I am lucky I had such a great example of how drugs can take over a persons life, not everyone gets that. That's why I think it's so important for books and movies to put that message across. Not the message we get from LBC. Her dad does weed, the guy she's in love with does weed and because LBC tells her too, even she smokes up with her own dad. I just didn't like it being portrayed as this thing that is okay to do and that everyone does. Nope! I'm sure a ton of teenagers do drugs, but do we really need to be portraying it as normal and okay in our literature that is aimed at younger readers, some who could still be quite impressionable. NO, we don't! Sorry, drugs rant over. 

Tabitha was a character that I really didn't like, I didn't feel sorry for her at all. She feels like her friends cut her out of their life for no reason. I mean, she just wanted to dress different and wear a little make-up and there's nothing wrong with that. But, she has the most horrible attitude and the way she talks about her friends and herself made me think her friends had the right idea when they stopped talking to her. She's constantly referring to how plain, simple and ugly her friends are and how it's not her fault she got pretty. Seriously, no wonder you don't have friends any more! She's just so up her own arse that it infuriated me, she also has the high and mighty attitude about how she was a brilliant, amazing friend they were in the wrong. Yes, for the most part, they were but Tabs annoyed me so much I could understand why they wouldn't want to be friends with her. 
How Tab views herself. 

Joe was such an infuriating love interest. He has a girlfriend and this bothers Tabitha, but not enough to really end things with him. She's so utterly convinced that he's going to breakup with the girlfriend and get with her. Wake up, he's been with her for years and he has shown no indication of breaking up with her. Why would you even want to be with the kind of guy who goes behind his girlfriends back? If he cheats on her then it's a good indication that he would do the same to you. Please, find that half a brain cell I am certain you possess somewhere inside your head and just end things with him! I hated Joe, I didn't judge Tabs too harshly because she actually felt like she loved the guy, but I had full on hatred for Joe. Most people in the book blamed and judged Tabitha, but the blame should actually go to the guy, the one who's attached and has a girlfriend. She's free to pursue whoever she wants, they'd be nothing going on between them if he said no and was faithful to his girlfriend. I hated Joe, and I judged Tabitha for wanting to be with him because of how much of an arse he was. 

The Life by Committee aspect was entertaining enough but not what I was hoping for. The assignments were pretty stupid and useless to me. Like one person has 24 hours to book a plane ticket and go to LA, which she buys instantly and just goes. Is that really realistic? What about the money? The time off work? Also, Tabs gets an assignment to get high with her dad. That should be some indication that this sites not really going to help you all that much. Get off and find your own solution for your problems.


2/5 Butterflies

It was an okay read but once I got to the end I couldn't stop comparing it to Mean Girls. I didn't like how drug use was portrayed in this. Tabs was a rather unlikeable character, if you're constantly talking about how plain and ugly your friends are how are you surprised when they don't want to hang out with you? Don't chase after a guy who has a girlfriend and then act surprised that people judge you for it, that was bound to happen. The Life by Committee aspect of the book was really disappointing, I'm not sure what I was expecting but that wasn't it. It was an okay read, but I'd rather watch Mean Girls.




*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Edelweiss in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great review, Charnell! I'm been umming and ahhing as to whether I should put this on my official TBR, but if it's just like a book version of Mean Girls, then I don't think I will bother.

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    1. I think I am like the only person who's mentioned that in any of the reviews I've seen, but that's how it read to me. I think some people really loved it but it just didn't work for me.

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  2. Oh shoot. This is not the book for me, simply because I like my books to read like original thoughts (even if they really aren't). I feel like the parallels between Mean Girls and this book would just be too overwhelming to overlook! Thanks for your honest review though!

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    1. I have read a lot of other reviews that didn't even mention it, maybe it was just me! I don't know, I enjoyed it a lot at first but as it went along I had more and more issues with it.

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  3. Well, I'm grateful for this honest review. I don't really like Mean Girls, so this books isn't for me. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I just read a review yesterday from someone who loved it…I'm so confused! The way you describe it makes me doubt I would like it, but the other reviewer described it completely different. So funny when books affect people so differently. I'm going to have to think about this one. Thanks for the honest review! ~Pam

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    1. I have seen a lot of great reviews, none of them even mentioned Mean Girls, so I think it might just be me. I really enjoyed it at first but over time I found far too many issues with it. The LBC aspect was my least favourite, I thought it would be the one I would love.

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