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

3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Whip-smart dialogue and a fast-moving, picaresque plot that zooms from lump-in-the-throat moments to all-out giddiness will keep readers going, and it’s a testimony to how real these girls seem that the final chapters are profoundly satisfying rather than tidy.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review) )

“The authors’ styles blend seamlessly, folding three characters’ distinct voices into a funny, poignant story about facing your troubles with friends at your side.” (ALA Booklist )

From the Back Cover

Three girls who couldn't be more different have one goal in mind: to get the heck out of Dodge.

Well, Niceville, Florida, actually.

Vicks is the wild child whose boyfriend left for college and isn't returning any of her calls.

Mel is the good girl in expensive jeans who just wants everyone to like her.And Jesse, well, she'll do whatever it takes to avoid facing a life-altering secret.

Armed only with Vicks's battered copy of a guidebook called Fantastical Florida, the keys to Jesse's mom's beat-up station wagon, and Mel's credit card, they're Miami bound for the weekend. That is, they would be if they didn't keep getting distracted by attractive hitchhikers and natural disasters.

This may be a trip filled with detours, but the girls are about to learn that when it comes to fun and friendship, the best part of the adventure just might be the journey itself.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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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: 1 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,664,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is FUNNY. Like, absurdly funny.

Evidence via first line:
"At the end of July, back when I was still fun, I bought Vicks two tufts of fake armpit hair from Jokes-a-Plenty."

And though the characters were strong, the plotting tight, and the narration nearly seamless, what really stood out was the dialogue. The conversations between these three girls flowed with such a natural and ridiculous certainty that I felt like I was listening in on a conversation I had with my friends in high school. (Though we never had to escape an alligator.) There were almost no one-liners; the humor came from the characters themselves, and the dialogue built upon itself to create that wonderful realism. This book nails the nuances of friendship.

The best part of HOW TO BE BAD?

It's a ball to read. It regularly touches on serious topics (as per the jacket copy, every girl has her issues), but it didn't weigh me down with them. Instead, I had a great time with Jesse, Vicks, and Mel as they drove to Miami. And here's the kicker ---- I am personally biased against road trip novels. I just feel they're cliche or something. Way to bust that particular prejudice.

Conclusion: If you're sitting at home bored and want an adventure with your friends but it's kinda not happening... read this book. It's almost as good as being there.

* This review posted originally at www(dot)FirstNovelsClub(dot)com
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Format: Paperback
Mel, Jesse and Vicks are three teenage girls who spend the summer months working at the Waffle House. Jesse and Vicks have been doing so for forever and have grown really close over time, despite being very different and not even going to the same school. Mel on the other hand is the new kid in town and a rich one at that, so she doesn't have to work like the other two do. Yet she actually enjoys her job as a waitress and she is desperate to find that close bond she sees between Jesse and Vicks every day.

Vicks hasn't been doing so great lately though, she misses her boyfriend who has just started college and he's not responding to any of her messages, which is making her feel very insecure about her relationship. To cheer her up, Jesse suggests a spontaneous road trip to visit him. The only problem? Neither of the girls has the money for gas or hotel stays along the way. And that's where Mel comes in. Offering to pay for their trip if she can come along, the girls set off for an adventure that involves crocodiles, hot boys at a keg party and a pirate-themed hotel.

How to Be Bad wasn't what I was expecting at all. Instead of a meaningful and quirky story along the lines of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, this was a fun, feel-good novel not unlike road trip stories I've seen unfold on the big screen. Sure, the three girls central within the book all have issues to deal with and character growth to go through, but ultimately this was a really enjoyable, and at times a tad crazy, adventure – and the perfect fictional getaway for the summer holidays.

The book is written by three different authors, which is a really unique concept. Though while each of course has their own style, this didn't hamper the fluency of the story at all.
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Format: Paperback
There’s something about summer that makes me crave light, fun reads about friendship, love and good times so when I spotted HOW TO BE BAD with that awesome cover, I knew it was just what I needed.

Despite the issues that can arise with multiple POVs, I adore getting to know a variety of characters intimately and feel that I can get so much more out of my reading experience. HOW TO BE BAD is written by three different authors, each taking a character which really excited me because of the added authenticity of each of the characters’ different personalities and stories.

Set in Florida, HOW TO BE BAD takes place at the end of another hot, sticky summer. Jesse, Vicks and Mel all work at the Waffle House and couldn’t be more different. Jesse lives in a trailer park with her mom who has just been diagnosed with cancer and Jesse clings to the Christian beliefs passed down by her Grandma as a way of comforting her through her fear of the unknown. Her best friend, Vicks has recently said goodbye to her boyfriend, Brady a freshman at college in Miami who has suddenly forgotten how to use the phone and Vicks is determined not to be one of “those girlfriends” obsessing over the wording in every little text. Mel, the new girl is desperate to fit in to her new home which couldn’t be more different than the Canadian landscape she left behind. When a suggested road trip to Miami is suggested, the three girls are thrown together for a weekend of discovery, heartbreak, healing and friendship that will change their outlook on life forever.

HOW TO BE BAD is the quintessential, light fluffy read that will capture your attention easily.
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Format: Paperback
"How to Be Bad" is a collaborative effort of three YA authors out of which I am familiar with only one - E. Lockhart. In fact, her name on the cover was the only reason I picked up this book.

This is a story of three girls: Jesse - a strong willed and opinionated Christian with an air of trailer trashiness about her who just found out her mother has cancer; Vicks - a tomboyish and independednt amazon whose boyfriend recently started college and hasn't called her in two weeks; Mel - an insecure rich girl who just moved from Canada and struggles to find real friends. The girls take a weekend trip down to Florida during which they fight, make mistakes, test their friendships and ultimately come to better understand themselves and each other.

This book was an interesting enough read, it kept me engaged from the beginning till the end. There were some touching and sweet moments, but overall there was nothing new or special about this book. The theme has been successfully explored by other writers and the writing itself wasn't that memorable either. The book was written from 3 girls' POV. While in the beginning I was able to easily distinguish the "voices" of the narrators, by the end all 3 blended together. Not sure what exactly happened. Either one of the authors ended up writing the bulk of the book (and I am sure it wasn't E.Lockhart, I know she can do better than that) or it was heavily edited. Either way, it didn't work as well as it could have. Overall, a decent read, but not really memorable
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