Review: Life By Committee – Corey Ann Haydu

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Title: Life by Committee [Amazon]
Author: Corey Ann Haydu [website]
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Genre: Contemporary
Source/Type: Edelweiss/Digital ARC
Stars: No Rating

Publisher Description:
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.

My Thoughts:
This book was a struggle for me to read. I will say that I was sick with a head cold while reading parts of this so that could be blamed for some of it, but the honest truth was that I didn’t connect with Tabitha, hated her parents, hated her ‘love interest’, didn’t understand why it was okay for a teacher to basically bully Tabby the way she did, and found the LBC itself just plain weird and not at all magical like Tabby did. I finished the book and I wasn’t shocked at all by the revelation, but I did finish it.

Life by Committee is about Tabitha, a high school girl from Vermont that has lost all her friends recently due to her change of style. Once happy with sitting home in baggy clothes and messy hair, she now is aware of her body and make up and how clothes fit. Basically her former two best friends make her out to be slut because she has different interests than they do and they do everything they can to make her miserable. But Tabby has something they don’t, she has Joe. Problem is, Joe has a girlfriend. Convinced Joe and she belong together Tabby takes action to convince him as well. But when she finds a website for a group called Life by Committee, Tabitha is in for a whole new set of problems. When you life isn’t your life anymore, then what?

My obvious problem with the book and that was my emotional connection to Tabitha. Or actually my lack there of. From the get go I just didn’t understand her motivations or why I was supposed to like her. I didn’t dislike her and I hated the way she was treated by her parents and former friends, but I also didn’t hope for good or bad things to happen to her either way. I was basically indifferent which made reading all the more hard as she was the whole story. Don’t get me wrong, she was flat out bullied because she was growing up and I hated that and hated it even more that it wasn’t really dealt with and hated it even more when a teacher was doing the actual bullying, but I also wasn’t all that invested in her either. There was just something lacking about her for me and it just didn’t connect.

I also had a huge problem with Tabby’s parents. I have read a lot of annoying parents in YA but these two held their own on that list. First they were trying to be the hip cool parents that let their daughter call them by their first names. Then they were the parents that were laid back and wanted to be there for their daughter. And then, the one that really bothered me the most, they were the expectant parents that felt the need to keep saying over and over how they weren’t going to screw up this new baby. They were going to do things right for the new baby. Even I who didn’t like Tabitha all that much felt horrible every time they said that to her. I mean really? Really? Why have to to there??!!

I guess basically the gist is that Life by Committee just wasn’t the book for me. I know a bunch of people that really enjoyed this one and I guess I can see how some might, but I just didn’t. But like I say after any review, you need to make your own opinion and don’t just take mine.

Other books by author:
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