February 2, 2017
How to Break a Boy - Laurie Devore
Title: How to Break a Boy
Author: Laurie Devore
About: Keep your enemies close, but your friends closer.
Olivia Clayton has mastered the art of tearing others down to stay on top. She and her best friend, Adrienne, rule their small southern town like all good mean girls do--through intimidation and manipulation.
After Olivia suffers a family tragedy and catches Adrienne sleeping with her boyfriend, Olivia is over it. She decides to make a change--but it's impossible to resist taking Adrienne down one last time. Up to her old tricks, Olivia convinces golden boy Whit DuRant to be her SAT tutor and her fake boyfriend. But when it starts to feel real, Whit gets caught up in Olivia and Adrienne's war.
Olivia may ruin everything she touches, but this time she won't go down without a fight--not if it means losing Whit.
And definitely not if it means losing what's left of herself.
Nothing gets me to pick something up faster than the words 'fake dating.' I don't know what it is, but it's seriously my book kryptonite. I am powerless in the face of a good fake relationship. There's feelings and misunderstandings and then even more feelings...sigh. I just love it so much. So anyway, I would describe How to Break a Boy as Some Girls Are mixed with John Tucker Must Die. It takes on serious issues, while not taking itself too seriously. There's toxic friendships, grief-induced bad decisions, a fake relationship, real feelings - all the makings of a great story.
I have mixed feelings about this book. At the onset, I was not totally on board. I just wanted Olivia to get away from Adrienne. She treats Liv horribly and Liv can't make herself stay away, even though Adrienne's a terrible person. She excuses it by telling herself that she's trying to play Ade, but really she doesn't know who she is without her best friend. In the middle I found myself enjoying it more, and here I am at the end and I...liked it, I think? Whit helped a lot. I like that he wasn't afraid to go up against Liv, to challenge her. He was a good guy without being a complete goody two shoes. I wish we spent more time on their relationship.
I also wish Liv was more committed to what she wanted, or at least more willing to commit. I understand not being totally sold on her own crazy plan in the beginning, but towards the middle I just wanted her to tell Ade to fuck off and be with Whit. And I know she wanted that, but she can't break out of the horrific shit her and Ade used to pull. She does this all this absolutely heinous stuff to him - like future ruining stuff. And she doesn't even feel completely bad about it! I mean, I guess this makes her a more real character. She didn't just change her spots at the drop of a hat, but it's frustrating for me because I'm over here yelling JUST LET THEM BE IN LOVE like a crazy person. I also wanted her to commit more to destroying Ade, if that's what she wanted. Idk, define your goals and work to achieve them girl.
How to Break a Boy was a solid contemporary read for me. Liv had a lot of stuff going on - taking on the meanest of mean girls (who's also her best friend), grieving the loss of her brother, faking dating Whit, sort of really dating Whit, destroying and rebuilding friendships. I wish we could have spent more time with Whit and Liv together, but I get why we couldn't. Olivia's journey from mean girl to slightly less mean girl was a bumpy road, but it's one I'm glad I went on.