Happy weekend, readers! Today I have the pleasure of sharing my review for She’s the Worst, a contemporary novel about a sister relationship, as part of the book’s blog tour.
She’s the Worst
Published September 3rd, 2019 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Young Adult | Contemporary
Sisters April and Jenn haven’t been close in years. Jenn’s too busy with school, the family antique shop, and her boyfriend, and April would rather play soccer and hang out with the boy next door.
But when April notices her older sister is sad about staying home for college, she decides to do something about it. The girls set off to revive a pact they made as kids: spend an epic day exploring the greatest hits of their childhood and all that Los Angeles has to offer.
Then April learns that Jenn has been keeping a secret that could rip their family—and their feuding parents—apart. With only one day to set things right, the sisters must decide if their relationship is worth saving, or if the truth will tear them apart for good
She’s the Worst is a fun romp through LA that tells a story of sisters reconnecting over the course of (for the most part) one day. I felt that it was lacking in some areas, which prevented me from rating it higher than three stars, but I still found this contemporary novel fairly enjoyable.
Here are some of the things that I liked and disliked about it:
- The story revolves around a sister relationship that isn’t strong at first, but develops over the course of the book. The main characters, Jenn and April, used to be close but have grown apart. During the novel, they learn to empathize with each other, and by the end of the book, they each have a better understanding of where the other is coming from.
- Most of the plot has to do with fulfilling a childhood pact to spend a day together before Jenn starts college. I really liked this premise, and their adventures through Los Angeles were entertaining to read, which brings me to my next point…
- LA setting! I was lucky enough to travel to LA when I was in grade school because my dad was going there for a seminar, and it has since been regarded as our best family vacation ever. I LOVED Los Angeles, so of course I enjoyed reading a story that takes place in various spots around the city.
- The dialogue felt very authentically Gen Z—for example, the phrase “come at me” is used. (My 14-year-old sister says that ALL the time lol.) The characters all talk like real teenagers, and their dialogue actually made me laugh out loud a few times.
- Both of the lead characters are flawed and human.
- If you like the childhood-friends-to-lovers trope, you’ll probably enjoy the romance subplot in She’s the Worst. There is a very cute, supportive love interest; however, I did feel like the romance could’ve been better. (More on that later.)
- Though I liked that both protagonists had flaws, I found them both overly annoying. There were SO many miscommunications, and so many problems would’ve been solved if they’d just sat down and had an honest conversation without all the secrets and manipulation.
- While the sister relationship did develop over the course of the book, it still fell flat for me. Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books said it best in her review when she wrote that she “missed depth in the sisters and their relationship overall.”
- She’s the Worst has two VERY aggravating parent characters. Jenn and April’s parents fight all the time and they both suck so much—which could’ve been fine, as this is definitely a reality for plenty of families, but the parents were way too two-dimensional. If they had had any sort of redeeming qualities, or a single scene besides the ending in which they did something good, it would’ve been okay, but there was none of that.
- Some of the plot felt a little ridiculous. I won’t go into any depth, because I don’t want to spoil anything, but Jenn’s secret just had me like “what the heck??? Does anyone actually do that??? This is a completely ridiculous, stupid thing to do???
- The romance could’ve been improved upon. I felt like that whole subplot was SO obvious from the start, and just overall very cliché.
Unfortunately, She’s the Worst wasn’t my favorite. It has a lot of untapped potential, and it lacks nuance; however, it’s still a fun city adventure, and I think some readers will definitely enjoy it as a quick, easy read.
Diversity Rep: (I think) Korean-American love interest; (I think) POC minor character; non-straight minor character
Warnings: underage drinking; talk of divorce; sexual content (off-page)
You can enter for the chance to win one of two copies of She’s the Worst HERE! (Make sure to enter before the giveaway closes on September 16th, 2019.)
You can find the schedule for the rest of the She’s the Worst blog tour here!
Lauren Spieller is an author and literary agent who lives in New York with her husband. When she isn’t writing, she can be found drinking lattes, pining for every dog she sees, or visiting her native California. She is the author of Your Destination is on the Left and She’s the Worst. Follow her on Twitter @laurenspieller and Instagram @laurenspieller. You can also visit her website at www.laurenspieller.com
Photo Cred: Dave Cross Photography
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Have you read She’s the Worst? What are some of your favorite books about siblings? Are you a fan of the childhood-friends-to-lovers trope? Let’s chat in the comments!
Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for including me on the blog tour and for providing me with a review copy of this book! This in no way affected my review.
5 thoughts on “She’s the Worst by Lauren Spieller | Light Read About Sisters, but Lacks Depth (Blog Tour Review + GIVEAWAY)”
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This is a really great review, Annie! ❤ While this book does look cute and the LA setting sounds awesome, I probably won’t be adding it to my TBR because one of my biggest bookish pet peeves is annoying main characters. If I don’t like the main characters, I have a hard time getting into the book in general.
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Thanks Olivia!! Yes, I totally feel that, like every other page I’m just thinking “dang this person is being so annoying” and it really detracts from the overall reading experience lol
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