Surprise! It’s another blog tour and book review this week! We’re taking a one-week hiatus from Marshmallow Fridays for this, but never fear. Veronica will return next week. This week, I have quite the treat for you. Lauren Spieller’s newest, She’s the Worst, which hit really close to home for me, so I’m super excited to be part of this blog tour and review it for y’all. The Fantastic Flying Book Club has been good to me, and this book is all part of it. Let’s go!
In She’s the Worst, we get the alternating perspective of sisters Jenn and April, who are as different as sisters can be. Jenn is a recent high school graduate, the valedictorian of her graduating class, who decided to stay home and attend community college in order to continue assisting their parents as they run their antiques store. Her long-term boyfriend is headed off the Stanford in three days at the start of the book, and she seems upset about it, at least to April. But really, Jenn is hiding a pretty big secret that could tear their family apart, and it’s about to come to light.
April is a rising junior and a badass soccer player with the opportunity to play in front of a scout for USC in the fall. But she’s also the less responsible sister (according to Jenn), and the one who doesn’t help out around the house or store. She’s been hooking up with a soccer stud and doesn’t know if he has any interest in dating her, even though she’d like to date him, and she hasn’t felt like her sister cares about her in years. When she sees how sad Jenn is about her boyfriend leaving, she’s reminded of the pact they made when Jenn left middle school behind for high school – they’d spend one entire day together before Jenn left for college.
April plans the whole day, and drags a reluctant Jenn with her. It starts out awkward, and gets worse when Jenn finally shares what’s been weighing on her for months. But as the day goes on, the sisters start to realize that they have a lot more in common than they thought, and maybe they’ll be able to mend their family after all.
3 Things I Loved
- April. I was the Jenn in my family, but now that I’m older, I understand April a lot more too. She is coping with their parents’ incessant fighting in the best way she can, even if it isn’t Jenn’s way. And she’s accomplished in her own ways too, even though they’re different from Jenn’s ways. I found her to be refreshing, and she reminded me so much of my own little sister that I think I loved her most.
- Nate. Ah, I love a good boy next door. He’d do anything for April – and Jenn – and he’s just overall sweet and lovable. More boys next door, please!
- Jenn. I didn’t dislike Jenn, but since I was the embodiment of Jenn when I was in high school, I found myself cringing sometimes. But she’s out here doing her best too, and she’s been in the middle of their parents’ fights for so long that it makes sense she’d do something drastic to try to set them on some sort of path. You’ll have to read the book to find out what I’m talking about!
Although this was super white and pretty heteronormative, the actual thing I want to talk about here are April and Jenn’s parents. It was hard to read their fighting. I say that in a way that means Spieller did an excellent job writing the dialogue, because I could FEEL the discomfort in the room, the tension that Jenn especially always has weighing on her shoulders. I could definitely see this being triggering for some people, because their parents are so absorbed in their own fighting that they have no idea what their children are even doing. And that’s the saddest part of all of this.
A reminder of the rating scale:
- Red = DNF, I hated everything
- Orange = Ugh, no thank you
- Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
- Green = This was good!
- Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
- Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!
I’m so happy I had the opportunity to be part of this blog tour. This book was so well-written, and so fun to read! I’m giving She’s the Worst a BLUE rating. Be mindful of the trigger I mentioned above, but it’s really really good. Also, sister, if you’re reading, I love you. ❤
Thank you to the publisher, NetGalley, and The Fantastic Flying Book Club for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
And here’s what you’ve all been waiting for – the Rafflecopter giveaway!