Thursday, August 18, 2011

Review: My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody

Title: My Life Undecided
Author: Jessica Brody
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, Giroux
Series: N/A
Genre: Contemporary (YA)
Pages: 320
Source: Library

Amazon Summary:
Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic. Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure. But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else decide which book I read for English. And whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated!Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever.

My Review:
I loved the concept of this book. One...I'm a blogger so I kind of automatically have this interest in books that talk about blogging. Two...I hate making decisions. I tend to make awful ones the first time around and then feel really guilty about it So giving up my decision making power and putting my life into someone else's hands seems like a really good move sometimes. Brooklyn has the quirky funny teenager-speak down. I totally loved her constant mental monologue. I enjoyed the unique perspective that Brooklyn offers. Usually the point of view is either the quirky awkward kid who is antagonized by the popular crowd, or the popular girl who is misunderstood and is looking for someone to identify with outside of her circle. Brooklyn is a "minion" of Shayne...she offers the point of view of the popular crowd, without being the queen bee.

The main theme in the book was obviously choice. I kind of wish that the message was a little more subtle. There were a lot of interesting and meaningful thoughts and quotes regarding making decisions on your own and not allowing others to rule your life, but at times it was like someone was just sitting there screaming MAKE YOUR OWN CHOICES. CHOOSE WHAT YOU BELIEVE IS RIGHT.THE DECISION IS YOURS TO MAKE. Over...and over....and over again. So obviously it got a little repetitive at times. Brooklyn seems so incapable of making the decisions that she kind of comes off annoying and frustrating. You just want her to grow up and think for herself.

There were several characters of interest. Shayne was an interesting specimen indeed. She truly ruled her court Queen-Bee style without coming off too much of the cliche mean girl. Don't get me wrong, she's totally a mean girl, but she's also got some originality and spunk to her that makes her way more interesting than the cookie-cutter queen bee. I like that it was a requirement to read DishOrDiss blog in order to be her friend. Definite queen bee nastyness. Brian, also known as Heimlich, was super adorable. I am a total sucker for the sweet nerdy guys. In fact, that's usually a prerequisite to date me. Whether you know every line of the last Star Trek movie or you do a killer Gollum/Smeagul impression, nerdy makes me swoon. lol So I was definitely a total sucker for the nerdy captain of the debate team. His honest appreciation of who Brooklyn is was super cute, and he had some killer swoon-worthy speeches. LOVED HIM!

Brooklyn was a complicated character to identify with. You really feel for her when her life ends up in the crapper, and how many times have you wanted to put your choices in someone else's hands just so you didn't have to make a decision? There is a lot of pressure to make the right choices, because then if something turns out wrong, it is YOUR fault for making the choice in the first place. As a teenager, these decisions can hold a huge weight and pressure that can be overwhelming at times.Brooklyn's solution is both brilliant, and a cop-out. By putting her life in other people's hands, she takes no responsibility for any of the results of her "decisions"...if things go badly, she can just blame it on her followers. I think it was because of this...passive nature of Brooklyn's that really irritated me. She really was the vapid idiotic follower that she came off as. As the book went on, and she started growing as a person, I did find myself liking her a little bit more, but she still was so indecisive and just plain wrong that I was just constantly bothered by her. The final scene at the end was a little cheesy, but it was cheesy in the cutesy sort of way that makes you go "aweeeee" and cue the moving emotional music while the camera pans-out and the couple kisses in front of a room of their friends after some moving and emotional speech and everyone claps. lol
I really enjoyed this book. It was a little slow to start, but it picked right up in the middle and I found myself moving through quickly after that. I loved the concept, and I am almost inspired to put up a few polls on this blog so that I can get you guy's opinions on some stuff :) It was an enjoyable, easy, light read. Good for pools and playgrounds I'd say.


  1. I JUST got this book, so I can't wait to get to it! Great review! :)

  2. I actually hadn't heard of this book, but I think I might check it out after reading this. Like you said, it seems like an interesting concept, and being a fellow blogger (and bad decision maker) I can understand the temptation.

    I'm also not surprised that you found it a bit repetitive. I think that would be something I would kind of anticipate before reading it, considering the storyline. But eh. :)

    Great review! You made me want to read it!