Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Book Review: Ditched: A Love Story, by Robin Mellom
Mellom, Robin. Ditched. 288 p. Disney-Hyperion. 2012. Hardcover $16.99. ISBN 978142314338.
If you're looking to start the new year off with a light, fast-paced read that will make you laugh, this book is definitely it.
Justina has the wost prom night ever, as a series of crazy misadventures culminate with her ending up in a ditch. See? She was ditched! LITERALLY! (Hee.) Seeking solace at a convenience store after her awful night, Justina tells her story in flashbacks to a hilariously opinionated audience. The nonlinear storytelling is fun, as details and relationships cleverly unfold bit by bit.
In addition to a sympathetic protagonist, this book has a large cast of unforgettable characters. I adored the cheerful stoners, Mike and Mike, who call their dates by their "essences" instead of their names (Serenity and Bliss). The dates themselves, classic "bad" girls with hearts of gold, are also utterly endearing.
Speaking of "bad" girls, I was a little perplexed by Justina's angst over her own supposedly tarnished reputation. She used to kiss a lot of guys, and- horrors!- kissed two guys at the same party one night. I mean, not that I condone rampant kissing... it's just that I'm not entirely sure it's that big of a deal to today's high schoolers. But hey, for our younger teen audience, I like that the author keeps it clean!
As I was reading, I kept thinking: "This would make an AWESOME movie!" It's reminiscent of one of my favorite teen classics, Can't Hardly Wait. In fact, the characters in this book attend Huntington High School, just like in that movie... a clever shout-out? Or maybe the book is actually set in Huntington Beach, which is possible from the references to In N Out Burger, a California-based fast food chain. Either way, the setting made me smile.
Bottom line: Ditched is a super cute story and a fun read. I can't wait to recommend it at my library, and if it's ever made into a movie (which it totally should be!), I will be there.
Look for Ditched in bookstores everywhere on January 10, 2012. ARC for review provided by Disney-Hyperion via NetGalley.