Review: How to Meet Boys by Catherine Clark

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: How to Meet Boys by Catherine ClarkHow to Meet Boys by Catherine Clark
Published by HarperTeen on May 6, 2014
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
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Find out what happens when you fall for your best friend's worst enemy in this timeless and hilarious story of a forbidden first love and forever friendship.

Lucy can't wait to spend the summer at the lake with her best friend, Mikayla. But when Jackson, the boy she's been avoiding ever since he rejected her, reappears in her life, Lucy wonders if this summer to remember is one she'd rather forget.

Mikayla's never had much luck talking to boys, but when she (literally) runs into the cutest guy she's ever seen, and sparks fly, she thinks things might be looking up...until she realizes the adorable stranger is the same boy who broke her best friend's heart.

As things begin to heat up between Mikayla and the one guy she should avoid, will Lucy be able to keep her cool or will the girls' perfect summer turn into one hot mess?

Catherine Clark, the author of beach-read favorites Maine Squeeze and Love and Other Things I'm Bad At, has once again crafted a hilarious and spot-on portrayal of what it's really like to be a teenager. Readers will love this irreverent coming-of-age story…and will be breathlessly turning the pages to find out what happens next.

I had some MAJOR ups and downs with this book. Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows I came VERY close to DNFing. Just 7 pages in, and I was ready to throw in the towel. The writing was choppy and flat, I felt detached from the story and the characters and when it came to “show don’t tell,” Clark did a lot more “tell” and not enough “show.”

This book had a lot of silliness to it. There was SO MUCH miscommunication with the characters, or no communication at all. There was also a lot of over-reacting and drama queen crap, especially from Lucy. I mean.. sweetie, you tried kissing him in 8th grade… You were 13 and even YOU admitted you were a “little kid” in 8th grade. Did you really think he wanted to kiss you back then?? And did you ever get his side of the story? And you really held a grudge for three years? Just… sigh.

There were also a lot of easy, convenient scenarios throughout the book. Like one girl ran into the guy in chapter one, then the other girl ran into him – literally – in chapter two. Uh… Really? And, speaking of the girls – Lucy and Mikayla – I coulnd’t stand either one of them. They both claimed to be shy and terrible when it came to speaking with guys (Mikayla especially). They both claimed they wanted to break out of their shells over the summer. But some of their actions did not scream “shy” or “scared to talk to boys.” Some of what they did was just plain.. Well, bitchy, for lack of a kinder term. One scenario, in particular, that involved Mikayla.. I wanted to slap her, but I can’t explain it because, you know, spoilers.

Lucy was so ridiculous, I can’t even deal with her. Aside from the things I mentioned in the second paragraph of this review (all of which pertained to Lucy), she also decided that getting rejected for that kiss meant she couldn’t trust anyone and she would never again take a risk. Uh…. I don’t even have words to explain what I think about that.

Mikayla was pretty bitchy (again, sorry for the language, but that’s the term that fits her best), but I definitely liked her more than Lucy and I felt bad for her, especially near the middle/end. The way Lucy treats her is unforgivable and the things she almost sacrifices to appease her best friend… It broke my heart a bit.

I actually loved Jackson, despite all the trash talk, and I think he was the best part of this book. I thought he and Mikayla were adorable together, especially. Another character I loved was Ava. She was 100% the voice of reason. She was so reasonable, if she were on The Walking Dead, they’d kill her off for being the reasonable one (Well, they did it to two of the Voice of Reason characters on the show already, so… Apt comparison). I also adored Henry, though we didn’t see enough of him. And I guess I liked Gus, though I didn’t connect with him and Lucy the way I did with Mikayla and Jackson.

The saddest part of all? This book definitely had potential. There was something about it that pulled me in and prevented me from DNFing. But it just fell completely flat. It sucks, too, because I’ve been looking forward to reading it and I feel totally let down.

Overall, I don’t think I have any desire to read any other books by Catherine Clark. I also would not recommend this book, unfortunately. Maybe get it from the library first? Or wait for an eBook sale? It had potential and I’m sad it didn’t live up to my expectations.