Thursday, July 16, 2009

Book Review: Pants on Fire

Title Pants on Fire (formerly Tommy Sullivan is a Freak)
Author Meg Cabot
Genre YA Commercial Fiction
Rating C-

Summary Katie Ellison is a liar (or so she says 9,000,000 times in the book). Her lies include cheating on her uber-cool boyfriend (but they're just kissing, so is that really cheating?) and covering up the fact that she ruined the life of her best friend, Tommy Sullivan, in eighth grade. Now Tommy's back in town and things are about to get interesting.

First Line "'Oh my God, what's she doing here?' my best friend, Sidney van der Hoff, was asking, as I came up to the corner booth to hand out menus."

Review This book was my first foray into the wet and wild world of Meg Cabot books and I enjoyed this light, fun summer read. Katie Ellison is a relatively self-aware 17-year-old girl who thinks about people and things for herself, rather than always just going along with the crowd. Not a bad character. Unfortunately, Meg Cabot might be a little too good at getting in the mind of teenage girls because Katie got on my nerves after a while. If she said that she was a liar one time, she said it a thousand times. Because that's what teenage girls do. They obsess. About themselves. Like the rest of us care about them as much as they care about themselves. She did the repetitive inner monologue about the lying, about the cheating (and the wondering if kissing someone else is technically cheating), about being boy-crazy, and about being crazy about particular boys. It got a little old. If Katie hadn't been such a good character otherwise, I think I might have given up on this gimmick.

But I didn't. I stuck around to the end which, although I saw it coming from a mile (aka, 235 pages) away, I enjoyed. Things wrap up tidily enough (of course) and the characters pretty much redeem themselves (of course). My only issue with the ending (much like I had an issue with the ending of Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys) is that things wrap up tidily without us knowing how they tidied up. Katie gets in some heat from her parents, but they also support her, but we don't ever really see any of that--just a sentence or two about that. We get a good resolution between the primary/seriously main characters, but there were some pretty critical secondary characters that just disappeared and I would have liked for them to have stuck around.

Recommendation Fans of books about deep secrets getting revealed (in a not too heavy or depressing way) like Fake Boyfriend by Kate Brian, Two Way Street by Lauren Bernholdt, or Plan B by Jenny O'Connell would probably enjoy this book.

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