Title: Life by Committee
Author: Corey Ann Haydu
Synopsis: “Some secrets are too good to keep.
Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat.
Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.
Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.
Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.
But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?”
I feel like this book could have been much, much better.
Life by Committee had one of most intriguing plots I’ve ever seen these days and that’s probably why I just couldn’t wait to start reading it. I don’t start reading a new book before I publish the review of the previous one so I kept opening the cover of it and closing it again.
Our main character is Tabitha -Tabby- who has been left by her best friends because she apparently “changed”, which means that her bra size changed and she started wearing make up and catching boys’ attention -and liking it. She is now left with no one, excluding Elise who is kind of her best friend but doesn’t give the same feeling of comfort being around Jemma and Alison gave to her.
I loved how different this book started off as, compared to other contemporary YA novels. We all read about the girl who ditched her best friend because she became someone different -she grew up and got prettier. Now we get to read about the girl who was ditched by her best friend(s) because she became someone different.
“‘I haven’t changed at all,’ I say. And this I actually mean. Because a sudden jump in cup size isn’t the same thing as changing who I am.”
I thought, “Hey, a different point of view and a very interesting plot. Could this book get any better?” and apparently, it couldn’t. *shrugs*
Tabitha a different character indeed. I didn’t like her as a person, to be honest, maybe mainly because I couldn’t relate to her. First of all, the whole relationship-slash-not-a-relationship thing with Joe clashes with my supportive partnership and loyalty and faithfulness concept/logic. The fact that she knew Joe had a girlfriend yet still didn’t do anything to fix the mess between him and her made me look at her in a different way. I don’t mean to “judge the book by its cover” or anything but I just really hate anything that has to do with cheating so Tabitha started off with a minus one point.
She also couldn’t control herself or her actions, no matter what those actions led her to. And it is not innocent or naive or anything, believe me. Sure, the excitement maybe made her mind go all blurry and inactive and I’d tolerate that, I really would, but it wasn’t just that. Her actions became too selfish for me to handle after some time.
The only common point between me and Tabitha is our love of books, probably. I loved the idea of reading someone else’s book -a used book- with notes and highlights on it. I hate writing on my books so I probably wouldn’t be able to participate in it that much but I still think learning what someone, a different person, thinks while reading the same paragraph or quote as you do.
“This is why I love books. They so often address exactly what I’m going through at that precise moment.”
One other thing I liked about the book was Life by Committee. I loved that it was full of anonymous people, using nicknames to hide their true identity. I also liked that the assignments given after the secrets were solely dedicated to make the person make bolder decisions and act upon them. Of course, that was before the whole thing got out of hand and crashed.
I didn’t like Tabitha’s parents, Paul and Cate at all. They were horrible parents. I understand where they’re coming from, they were young when they had Tabitha and weren’t ready to grow up so the birth must have been very shocking to them, but come on, you’re 32 with another baby on its way, isn’t it time to get a grip? And I don’t only mean the new baby but also Tabitha included? Your daughter has been going through a lot of things and needs you, probably needs you more than ever and you’re still trying to figure out what to do with your life?
I hated the slut-shaming Jemma and Alison did. More cleavage or more make up or shorter dresses or tighter pants do not mean that the person in front of you has become a “slut” so it was incredibly rude of them to jump to conclusions, especially given that the person in front of them was their best friend. I think it made her feel insecure about her clothing a bit, she started doubting her choice of clothing after some time.
“It’s [the dress] short and I feel good in it, which I’ve decided must be wrong.”
Sure, Tabitha liked the attention boys gave to her and it probably made her heart race and her mind became fuzzy, but it doesn’t mean anything besides that. No!
To conclude, I can say that this book had potential to be great but especially with the childish main character, it was hard for me to like this book. Still, I didn’t hate it and it had its moments where I went, “Oh my God yeees!”. If you don’t mind hard-to-like main characters, you can give it a go, I guess. :’D