Published by Hot Key Books on June 4th 2015
When you're tired of being good, sometimes you gotta be a little bad ...Jesse, Vicks and Mel couldn't be more different. Jesse, a righteous Southern gal who's as thoughtful as she is uptight, is keeping a secret that she knows will change her life forever. Vicks is a wild child: seemingly cool, calm and collected on the outside, but inside she's furious at herself for being so anxious about her neglectful boyfriend. And Mel is the new girl in town. She's already been dismissed as just another rich kid, but all she wants is to get over some of her fears and find some true friends. But for all their differences, the girls discover they've got one thing in common - they're desperate to escape. Desperate to get the heck out of Niceville and discover their true 'badass' selves! Even if it's just for the weekend ... One 'borrowed' car later, it's time to hit the road and head for Miami. Hearts will be broken, friendships will be tested, and a ridiculously hot stranger could change the course of everything.
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. Written in a fresh and authentic style, it captures the essence of female teen friendships, the idea of the seemingly endless summer and the adolescent panic of what’s lurking around the corner as Jesse, Vicks and Mel contend with the idea that independence with all its advantages and hardships is looming fast and that it’s not always a good thing.
Witty and fun with real emotion at its heart, HOW TO BE BAD is a pacy read that I enjoyed picking up and could get easily absorbed in no matter where I was. Each of the girls had realistic, distinctive voices and I felt the authors really captured their individual characteristics perfectly. My favourite character kept changing because of this and we really saw all sides to these girls – their kind hearts, infuriating habits and myriad of opinions.
Jesse was the most contentious and difficult to like at first. Honestly I felt her character was the most stereotypical especially with regards to her Christian values which I felt was a missed opportunity to show that not all Christians are narrow-minded, up-tight and all about wrath and hell-fire as it usually depicted in so many books. It was the one gripe I had with the book but honestly it turned out to be minor as Jesse showed some real growth throughout the book and I could understand the fear and uncertainty she was dealing with. Vicks is typically impulsive especially when she lets her emotions get the best of her which leads to a wide variety of hilarious situations and her character ensured the plot never lulled. Mel was my favourite character, by far. Sweet and uncertain, I loved how each situation pushed her further out of her comfort zone and how her confidence grew as the girls fought, laughed, made up and forged real bonds on the road.
Entertaining, light-hearted and the perfect addition to your Summer TBR, HOW TO BE BAD left me with a smile on my face and a yearning for my own little road-trip!