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How to Be Bad Paperback – Bargain Price, April 21, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition (April 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061284246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061284243
  • ASIN: B0058M8886
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Jesse, Vicks, and Mel spontaneously decide to take a road trip to visit Vicks's boyfriend who is in college in Miami. Jesse and Vicks have been friends for ages, but now there is a wedge between them. Jesse is a devout Christian who frowns on drinking and premarital sex; her unmarried mother calls her Goody Two-shoes and Vicks is getting fed up with her friend's "holier than thou" attitude. In fact, this is a large focal point of the story, and readers are sometimes left to wonder why they are still best friends, and when and how Jesse became so religious. Mel is a wealthy newcomer who has offered to pay for the trip, hoping to be accepted by them. Once they get into the car, infighting (and outright fighting) takes over. Still, the girls have wild adventures, including a party at which Vicks and Mel get drunk, a hurricane, a fistfight, and a run-in with a live alligator in order to save a baby duckling. Through confrontations with one another, with boys, and with family, the teens work through the issues they are facing and learn the importance of relying on friends. The presentation of three voices is effective since they come from three different authors, giving readers a variety of perspectives to consider. Teens are left with a satisfying conclusion that ties up most ends and creates hope for those issues left unresolved.—Emily Garrett Cassady, North Garland High School, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In an uncharacteristically rebellious moment, Jesse “borrows” her mama’s car and skips hicksville with Vicks, her best friend, and Mel, a new girl at work. Their destination: Miami, where Vicks’ boyfriend, Brady, attends college. Jesse is running from the news that her mom has breast cancer; Vicks is afraid that Brady is already over her. Mel just wants to belong, but she worries that the others are using her for her money. Like most road trips, this one is more about the journey than the destination: numerous detours—including breaking into a roadside attraction, escaping a hurricane, and hooking Mel up with a hot guy—provide the space the girls need to sort out their problems. This novel is the product of an unusual collaboration by three authors whose popular previous books, such as Lockhart’s Dramarama (2007), Mlynowski’s Bras & Broomsticks (2005), and Myracle’s TTYL (2004), make them well known to their target audience. Here, the authors’ styles blend seamlessly, folding three characters’ distinct voices into a funny, poignant story about facing your troubles with friends at your side. Grades 9-12. --Krista Hutley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
I love the character growth, it made the book feel more like someone's diary than the imaginations of three authors.
I have been on a run of good luck in the last few weeks - reading books that have been interesting and fun at the same time.
The story flows seamlessly between each chapter, making the reader curious as to which character belongs to which author.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tina on May 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have been on a run of good luck in the last few weeks - reading books that have been interesting and fun at the same time.

I am an adult who enjoys reading a good Young Adult (teen) book. Unfortunately, when I was that age, the selections were very limited - now, teens have a much broader choice.

How to Be Bad was a pleasant surprise for me. I don't normally enjoy reading a book where there are 3 separate voices taking turns telling their story - which is the case here.

How to Be Bad introduces us to 3 very different girls and through their voices (each was written by a different author and we do not get to find out who is who until the very end of the book), you will get a slightly different perspective on a road trip that they have decided to embark on together.

Indeed, Vicks, Jesse and Mel work together and are all the same age, but only Vicks and Jesse are really close friends. On the spur of the moment, for various personal reasons, all three of the girls end up on a three day road trip in a beat up station wagon. Jesse needs to get away from her mother and her illness, Vicks needs to find out what is going on with her suddenly "hard to reach" boyfriend and Mel just seems to have a desperate need to make friends.

As we follow our girls on the road, experiencing their ups and downs, crying for them and with them and cheering them on, we get a coming of age story that is both heartwarming and funny.

The open road becomes a bit of a metaphor for what the girls are living and while this ride is only a three day weekend, in the end, it is enough to give them all important insights into what is important and what can be left by the side of the road.

Well written, intriguing (which author is actually writing which part?)with genuine emotion, this book was a treat

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on July 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
HOW TO BE BAD is the perfect book for a girl-bonding summer road trip adventure!

Three girls, each with their own internal struggles, head out on a weekend road trip to Miami to visit the one girl's boyfriend. Vicks and Jesse are best friends. Mel is the newcomer but envies the friendship Vicks and Jesse share and invites herself along for the trip, offering to pay for lodging, snacks, and fuel.

Jesse is dealing with her mother's recent cancer diagnosis. She wants more than anything to tell Vicks, for they share everything, but hasn't been able to bring herself to do it.

Vicks is trying to not be a needy girlfriend. Her boyfriend has left for freshman year of university and has barely contacted her in the two weeks he's been gone. She misses him terribly and is convinced he's fooling around with a hot college girl.

Mel's family has just moved to Florida from Montreal, Canada. Florida is an entirely different world to her. She is reserved and lives in the shadow of her popular older sister. She desperately wants to break out of her shell, but doesn't know how. She hopes some of Vicks' outgoing personality will rub off on her.

They begin their trip Friday once Vicks gets off work. Jesse takes her mom's car without proper permission, and the three are off. Their adventures bring them to a giant preserved alligator, a cute hitchhiker, a house party with too much alcohol, Disney World, and a few other places along the way.

As will happen when confined with each other for far too long in a way too hot car, tempers flair, emotions erupt, and friendships are solidified.

HOW TO BE BAD is creatively written in alternating chapters by three popular authors.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. White on May 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As an older reader with time on my hands to try to keep up with what is being offered my granddaughters, and having enjoyed many of Lauren Myracle's previous works, but knowing nothing about Ms Lockhart or Ms Mlymowski, I approached HTBB with some reserve. Why would someone as talented as Ms Myracle do a threesome? How were the authors going to blend their three voices into one story? She must have had a lot of confidence in her co-authors to put her reputation on the line, split the take and collaborate with them. To my delight their three voices sang like a choir, and the story came through seamlessly, mixing humor, feelings and insight as if written by only one of them. Congratulations to them all!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rachael Stein VINE VOICE on July 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Jesse, Vicks, and Mel are all residents of not-so-appropriately-named Niceville, Florida. Jesse is fed up with her mother and just wants to get away. Vicks, the wild one, misses her boyfriend who left for college two weeks ago. Mel is the rich but sweet girl who just wants to make friends. Somehow these three coworkers end up on a weekend road trip. Jesse provides the car, Mel has the cash, and Vicks encourages the spontaneity and excitement. Though the destination is Miami, pit stops and detours will be made, leading them into disasters or unexpected solutions. This road trip will alter their friendships and even the way they view life.

Though I have previously read novels by only one-third of the fabulous authors who wrote How to Be Bad, I knew from the first moment I heard that E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle were writing a novel together that their book would be mandatory reading material for me. And I most definitely wasn't disappointed. I loved how each chapter was told from one of the girl's point-of-view (even though I did get confused a couple of times). Jesse, Vicks, and Mel were each wonderfully crafted and developed; I loved how they were so unique and complemented each other. The plot was a perfect mix of romance, friendship and personal issues, emotional realizations, and even physical danger. I really enjoyed the random details too, because it made the story all the more realistic. If I had one problem with How to Be Bad, it was that Jesse's religious fervor didn't always seem to fit with her character until the end of the story. However, this didn't diminish the fact that How to Be Bad was simply a fantastic novel.

How to Be Bad has a little bit of something for everyone, and I most definitely recommend it.
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