Sunday, April 21, 2019

YA Review: The Only Thing Worse than Me is You by Lily Anderson

Title: The Only Thing Worse than Me is You
Author: Lily Anderson
Year Published: 2016


Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 339
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2019 Google Reading map)USA

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this from my school's library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic-book store and to place third in her class and knock Ben West--and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing--down to number four.

Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben's, including give up sleep and comic books--well, maybe not comic books, but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson vs. West is as vicious as the Doctor vs. Daleks and Browncoats vs. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey-bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it's time to declare a champion once and for all.

The war is Trixie's for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben's best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly painful, but Trixie and Ben's cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. Until Trixie's best friend gets expelled for cheating. Until Trixie cries foul play, and they have to choose who to believe and which side they're on--and they might not pick the same side.

Review: This is book two of my I-am-sick-and-need-a-fun-YA-book-to-read weekend. It's got romance, friendship, and antagonism so it's all good. And, it's a retelling of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew so there's that as well. Actually, Taming of the Shrew has always bothered me since the basic premise is that there is an out-of-control female who will be "fixed" by a male. That does happen in this story, but it seems less controlling and more teenage romance.

The modern day setting is at a private high school for geniuses, which allows the characters to talk about calculus, take a course on the American Immigrant Experience, and vie for the top spots on the monthly posting of class rank (can you imagine a worse thing to do to students?!). Trixie is definitely testy. She's brilliant, like all her friends, and is trying to navigate school, puberty, college applications, and the fact that her friends have become "boy-crazy."

Of course, there's a nemesis: Ben. Ben is also contrary and super smart so he's a good match for Trixie's verbal barbs. And, as we all know, verbal barbs in YA lit often equal attraction. I do like the way we were able to see the good side of Ben before Trixie did because that means it isn't ridiculous that they end up liking one another.

All in all this book was fun and a perfect read for my snot-filled head. I even stayed up until 11:00pm to finish it even though I really should have been asleep so I can start feeling better.

Challenges for which this counts: none

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