Monday, February 13, 2012

Review (22): Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials

Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials
by Rosalind Wiseman

Series: None
Other Reviewed Titles: None
Release Date: January 6, 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pages: 282
Source: Purchased
Challenge: 2012 OTS

There’s no such thing as a drama-free year. 

Charlie Healy is done with drama. After surviving a middle school packed iwth mean girls, Charlie is ready to leave all that behind. But then, on her very first day of high school, she runs into her former best friend, Will, who moved away years ago. Now he’s back, he’s HOT, and he’s popular-- and he takes Charlie back into the danger zone of the popular crowd. But when a hazing prank goes very wrong, Charlie has to decide where her loyalties lie. 
Plot: The first half of the book focuses on Charlie finding her way around her new school and making new, and much better, friends while the second half focuses on the actual hazing stuff and what some students feel they need to do in order to fit in. I can’t really say I related much to either because that sort of thing doesn’t happen at my high school, but I know it is a common occurrence in others. There was a lot more dialogue then I felt necessary. Really there were just a lot of unnecessary words in general. Overall it was a pretty predictable plot. Only a few things seemed to shock me, but only because I felt they were random.

Characters: I liked Charlie and could really relate to her need to ditch her middle school friends and find new, drama-free ones. I was glad to see her finally standing up for herself and doing what she knew was right. I love that she stayed true to herself. Will was a sweetheart and just a normal teenage boy trying to fit in and be liked by his fellow teammates and schoolmates. Their crushes on each other were very obvious and I saw then ending coming from the beginning. I’ve always been a fan of the best-friends-turned-into-a-couple romance and theirs was no different. 

Cover: I felt that the cover and, even the title, was a bit misleading. It made me think there was going to be a lot of chemistry involved, but there wasn’t any chemistry between the characters and I don’t even think that was one of their classes. It’s still cute though.

Overall Impression: I had heard a lot about this book which set my expectations pretty high and unfortunately I don’t feel like they were met.

Fun Fact: The movie Mean Girls was loosely based off of Rosalind Wiseman’s other book, Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence

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