Monday, February 20, 2012

Review: My Life Undecided

My Life Undecided, by Jessica Brody. The GoodReads summary:

Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment.

Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure.

But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else be the one to decide which book I read for English. Or whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: Chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated!

Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you--like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever.

But don’t take my word for it, read the book and decide for yourself. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream in frustration. Or maybe that’s just me. After all, it’s my life.
Before I get into anything else about this book, can I just say how jealous I am that I wasn’t the one who thought of having a blog that polls my readers to make my life decisions for me? Unlike Brooklyn, I don’t usually make bad decisions, I just have trouble making any decisions at all because I way over think my options. So needless to say, I was totally in love with Brooklyn’s blog idea.

I liked the narrative voice, and the story was cute and fun and everything, but I just couldn’t quite get over how predictable the book was. I mean, yes, all contemporary YA romances are pretty similar at their core, but some of them manage to still surprise me. This one, I knew pretty much exactly where it was going and how by the end of the first 30 pages. And I swear, if I read one more book where the main character has to volunteer at a nursing home and ends up befriending the grumpiest resident, I’m going to scream.

The other thing that got to me about this book was Brooklyn herself. I realize that she’s only 15, and I’m sure I was totally self-absorbed at that age too, but that didn’t make reading about her bad decisions, naiveté, and self-centeredness any easier. She’s always whining about how much her life sucks, when A) her life is perfectly fine, and B) the things that suck about her life are totally her own fault. But at least Brooklyn realizes that she tends to make crappy decisions--it’s more her refusal to think about anyone besides herself that annoyed me.

Overall, I think I would’ve liked this book if only Brooklyn hadn’t annoyed me so much or so often. The writing was totally engaging and the overall story was fun--I just kept getting distracted from those by how much I wanted to throttle the main character.


  1. Given the way my reading choices have been going lately, I think I'll steer clear of this one. I love the idea of a blog where you let people make your decisions for you, but when it has to be done because you're an idiot, well, I can see that driving me nuts. I love how you can get your opinion across without going completely mental...something I am yet to learn to do!

  2. Haha! Oh, Brooklyn sounds like a funny (and frustrating) protagonist. But like you said, the concept is awesome--I could definitely use some help on minor decisions in my life. :P Thanks for the review, Karen!
    - Lauren

  3. This sounds like it could have been such an interesting idea. I think it would be really interesting to put my little decisions to a vote & see what people came up with. :)
    But I've been turned off by really young-sounding/immature main characters lately. I feel like I'm in a slump as far as good books go, so I'll probably skip this one.


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