HOW TO BE BAD
E. LOCKHART, LAUREN MYRACLE AND SARAH MLYNOWSKI
HOT KEY BOOKS, 2015 (YA, CONTEMPORARY)
Jesse is an uptight Christian, a Goody Two Shoes who wants to control the behaviour of those around her. But she is also hiding an awful secret.
Vicks is confident and outgoing, a badass who isn’t going to cry over any boy. But deep down, Vicks isn’t as tough as she seems.
Mel is the new girl, rich and fashionable. But she is filled with self doubt, and all she wants is a friend.
The three girls take an impromptu roadtrip to Miami, to get out of Niceville and visit Vicks’ boyfriend Brady, who hasn’t called her back since he left for college. On this trip they visit the bizarre attractions in the Fantastical Florida guidebook, fight, bond and listen to a great playlist. They become closer, but their secrets can’t stay hidden forever. Through meeting Old Joe (a stuffed alligator), braving extreme weather conditions and toll booths, and encountering cute boys the three girls learn more about themselves, and about each other. They realise that sometimes, you have to be a little bit bad…
This is a fun read, but it also has heart. You get a real sense that the three authors really enjoyed working together. Each character is strong and memorable. and has a distinctive voice. I really enjoyed that friendship was at the core of the book, and seeing how the authors examined how our ideas of our friends can change. The story is fast paced, and the trip is packed with funny and touching moments. The dialogue is excellent, with many laugh-out-loud moments – a perfect summer read. There are some extras at the end of the book; including a quiz and a playlist.
E. Lockhart is taking a roadtrip, visiting different bookstores to promote How To Be Bad, which has recently been released in the UK and Ireland. I attended her Dublin event in Easons on O’Connell Street. Her talk was very interesting and funny – she told us about the collaberative writing process and read from the book. She also talked about the hugely successful We Were Liars. After her talk was an q&a – I asked questions about the use of footnotes in The Boyfriend List (always planned, Lockhart loves playing with narrative form and believes this was the first use of footnotes in a YA novel) and the title of How To Be Bad (the only thing the authors fought over). E. Lockhart signed books after the event, and had bookplates for How To Be Bad also signed by Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski. Below are some pictures from the event.