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LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE USAuthor: Ami Allen-Vath
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication Date: March 15, 2016
Keep calm and make it to prom night—without a legit panic attack.
For seventeen-year-old Bree Hughes, it’s easier said than done when gossip, grief, and the opportunity to fail at love are practically high-fiving her in the hallways of Belmont High.
When Bree’s crush, Sean Mills, gives her his phone number, she can’t even leave a voicemail without sounding like a freak. Then she’s asked to be on Prom Court because Maisey Morgan, the school outcast nominated as a joke, declined. She apologizes to Maisey, but it’s too late. After years of torment and an ugly secret shared with their class’s cruel Pageant Queen, Maisey commits suicide. Bree is left with a lot of regret…and a revealing letter with a final request.
With Sean by her side, Bree navigates through her guilt, her parents’ divorce, and all the Prom Court drama. But when a cheating-love-triangle secret hits the fan after a night of sex, drinks, and video games, she’s left with new information about Sean and the class Pageant Queen. Bree must now speak up or stay silent. If she lets fear be her guide, she’ll lose her first love, and head to prom to avenge the death of the school outcast—as a party of one.
This was a really good read. Allen-Vath can WRITE, that's for sure. And she does so in a way that not only feels realistic but tells the story in a way that you want to read it. I thought this was a story that NEEDED to be told, NEEDED to be heard, and, most importantly, NEEDS to be read by all. Especially those who feel as if they don't quite fit in or belong anywhere. Bree is a champion for every teenage girl who floats between social groups and is trying to do the right thing for herself while not hurting others in the process.
Bree was so well developed and I loved her entire character. She had some flaws but she knew that and was trying to be the best version of herself that she could be. I liked her relationship with her mom and her friends. I thought she felt really real -- and she was someone I would have wanted to be friends with in high school. Actually, she reminded me a lot of me in high school.
I thought the panic attacks that Bree experienced were extremely well-written. I would breathe a word of caution to those who suffer from anxiety disorders as I found myself getting anxious and a bit panicky as those scenes were described. But I liked that Bree didn't really acknowledge them as what they were because she didn't know. I didn't know about my anxiety disorder until a doctor explained it to me, so I liked that Bree thought it was just something that happened to other people. But the anxiety in here is portrayed extremely well and sensitively. Allen-Vath depicts this so well that I would trust her to write about other mental illnesses in the future. (Actually, if you're reading this, please do. I would really enjoy that)
There were some pacing things I wasn't a fan of, as I thought part of it dragged a little bit around 30% of the novel. I thought that there was a bit too much of the build up to Sean asking Bree to Prom and that it could have been a bit more condensed as it seemed like we were getting the same sort of setting over and over again. However, this didn't take away from my overall enjoyment of the story.
The other thing was that there were some characterizations that left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth when it came to how Bree described other girls (and while it was realistic, it was still a little eh).
I liked that I went into this expecting a light-hearted contemporary novel but that Allen-Vath gave us something so much more than that. I think the change was one that everyone needs to read. It is nice to have a light, fluffy contemporary novel, but it is also great to have something that has a bit more to it than that. And if nothing else, reading the last 10% made the whole book worth it.
Ami Allen-Vath is a YA author living and writing along the shores of New Jersey. She loves great and terrible TV, ice cream, books, and vacations. Ami loathes cilantro, live birds, and when guys do cartoon impressions. Liars and Losers Like Us is her first novel.
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