ARC Review: How to Meet Boys by Catherine Clark

How to Meet Boys

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publishing House: HarperTeen
Number of pages: 320
Source: ARC from Edelweiss
Check out on GOODREADS

Find out what happens when you fall for your best friend’s worst enemy in this timeless and hilarious story of a forbidden first love and forever friendship.

Lucy can’t wait to spend the summer at the lake with her best friend, Mikayla. But when Jackson, the boy she’s been avoiding ever since he rejected her, reappears in her life, Lucy wonders if this summer to remember is one she’d rather forget.

Mikayla’s never had much luck talking to boys, but when she (literally) runs into the cutest guy she’s ever seen, and sparks fly, she thinks things might be looking up…until she realizes the adorable stranger is the same boy who broke her best friend’s heart.

As things begin to heat up between Mikayla and the one guy she should avoid, will Lucy be able to keep her cool or will the girls’ perfect summer turn into one hot mess?

Catherine Clark, the author of beach-read favorites Maine Squeeze and Love and Other Things I’m Bad At, has once again crafted a hilarious and spot-on portrayal of what it’s really like to be a teenager. Readers will love this irreverent coming-of-age story…and will be breathlessly turning the pages to find out what happens next.

REVIEW

After seeing negative review after negative review for this novel, I’ve already lowered my expectations and braced myself for what was to come. That being said, I still couldn’t enjoy the novel at all. In fact, I basically rolled my eyes throughout the whole thing!

There are two main stories in this one: Mikayla’s and Lucy’s. I found both main characters to have sort of juvenile voices–I couldn’t picture them being–how old are they again? 16? 17? Anyhow, the narration was a bit more middle grade-esque rather than YA. Let’s admit that there aren’t a lot of teen girls who “can’t” talk to boys. Kids, sure. There’s the whole cooties thing we’ve all experienced in grade school. Girls from an all-girls school? Acceptable. But Mikayla was your ordinary teen. Except that she “couldn’t talk to boys.”

“I was good at lots of things and confident about that. There was just one thing that made me feel completely inept, and that was talking to guys.”

Oh my God, shut up and pull yourself together, girl!

“Jackson.” Only my mouth was all tense because my jaw was clenched so it came out as “Shee-shaw.”

What the fuck? Does Jackson sound ANYTHING AT ALL like Shee-shaw?

Now, another thing that bothered me a lot was how LONG it took the Mikayla to find out who Jackson was. (I’m not spoiling anything, right? It’s in the synopsis.) This part of the story dragged on forever. The first thing I ask people when we meet is what their name is. Okay, they didn’t meet in a normal circumstance, but why didn’t she ask for his name during their second meeting? I would not want to bond or hang out with people if I didn’t know who they were.

We also have a load of characters who were just THERE and hardly had any purpose. They were just props to make “spice up” the plot. There’s Ava, the third wheel in their group. I felt like she was just thrown into the story for no reason at all, and even falls asleep while Lucy explains her problem! Lucy’s mom doesn’t do a much, aside from embarrassing Lucy. There’s also Jackson’s troubled brother who I thought would play a big role in the story but didn’t do anything.

There were two romantic storylines as well. Jackson and Mikayla had this insta-love that was boring as hell. I didn’t care about them at all and just wanted them to stop getting on my nerves. I liked Lucy and Gus a lot better. They got to know each other a bit, and had these cute little flirty moments that made me smile a bit.

“Boyfriend, girlfriend,” Jackson said. “Me, you.”

What are you, a dating robot?

“I had no “talk to cute boys” function. My model was lacking that. I needed an upgrade.”

Ah, great. Both of you are robots. Don’t you guys make a happy couple?

The writing style was okay not okay. Some things were a bit repetitive and were mentioned over and over. Oh wait, there was this: “Seriously?!?!” Yep. My eyes rolled, obviously. “?!?!” is not something I want to see in published novels. It comes of as unprofessional rather than realistic.

Friendship… WHAT FRIENDSHIP? When my friends and I have crushes on guys, even if they’re at THE SAME TIME, we just laugh it off and joke about it. We don’t ignore each other and pretend to be fine with it if we’re not! Real friends don’t let guys get in the way of their amazing friendships, okay?

How to Meet Boys was definitely not my type of book, and I’m not sure whose type it might be. Give it a shot and test it out at your own risk. Well, that turned out more rant-y than I expected. To be honest, this whole post was going to be a compilation of the book’s idiotic quotes plus GIF reactions to them, but that wasn’t enough to sum everything up.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Romance
Impact
Overall: 1.5

 

Potato Question - How to Meet Boys

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Aimee
Aimee is a sixteen year old bookworm from the Phillipines! She reads any book that catches her attention, but she mostly reads YA. She's into graphic design, writing and sleeping. You can find her at Deadly Darlings, The Book Geek, Goodreads and on Twitter.
Aimee

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  1. says

    Wtf, okay. I’m kinda (a lot) glad that I didn’t pre-order this. It looked so cute, but as you, I’ve seen a lot of negative-ish reviews. So sorry the narratives, the characters, the writing–everythings just lacked for you. And so true! Friends either joke about crushes or gush about them to each other (girls at least). Eh, this isn’t my type either. Sorry it went the way it went :/ (and yep, have been; I liked a guy and dated a guy whom my friends didn’t exactly like or were fond of so.. yeah. a tad awkward there when I brought him along to group hang-outs.)
    Siiri recently posted…Review: The Bone Season by Samantha ShannonMy Profile

  2. says

    I’m sorry that this wasn’t the book for you, Aimee. I wasn’t really interested in this one in the first place, so I completely just skipped it, and it was the right decision it seems. You’re not the only one who had major issues with it.
    Anyways, I usually have issues with books where the best friends fall for the same guy or one friend falls for the other friend’s ex, so I don’t think would appeal to me. The juvenile writing would also bug me endlessly.
    I hope your next book is stronger than this!
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Review : Born of Deception by Teri BrownMy Profile

  3. says

    I think many of us have been in an awkward moment because of a boy. I think mine is on the flip side. I am (probably was, now!) good friends with a lad and my best friend went with him and treated him like shit. Technically the awkwardness was down to a buy but it was all her fault.

    Anywho, I have seen some bad reviews for this one. The whole juvenile voice of the characters puts me off. Another things that gets my back up is characters without purpose. It is like “hi, I am here but don’t expect anything of me”!

    Here is to a better rread next time lovely! Thanks for the honest review! xx

    Alex @ The Shelf Diaries
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  4. says

    Gah not this thing again. I’m really sick of all those little angels, who are so shy and innocent that they cannot talk to any guy. Just pull yourself together, they won’t eat you. Besides, it seems really unrealistic. That being said, I’m not getting near this one. Sorry it was disappointment even though you have no expectations whatsoever. Great review, Aimee :)
    Tanja recently posted…ARC Review – The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie ConnorMy Profile

  5. says

    “Shee-shaw” *dies* bahahah. I was SOOO shy in high school but I would do better than that! O_O But I mean, from someone who was really shy, you don’t say things that embarrasses you further. Aaaanyways. It does sound like something that should target younger YA readers or older MG. And filler characters who don’t have a point to them is one of my bookish pet peeves (though I have a lot of pet peeves but still haha). Weirdly I hadn’t seen any reviews of this one yet but it’s not starting out so well. It sounds like it was pretty much a flop. I mean, Seriously?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
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  6. says

    This sounds kind of awful, frankly. I really hate YA books that sounds more MG (Perks of Being a Wallflower comes to mind, although I grew to love it after a while). Plus, Jackson does NOT equal “Shee-Shaw.” Pretty weirded out by the ?!?! as well. That should definitely not be in a published book unless it was like a really informal diary format or something.
    Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer recently posted…Hate is Such a Strong Word by Sarah AyoubMy Profile

  7. says

    I wasn’t going to read this anyway because of the reviews from other bloggers, but this has definitely taken it off my list! I’m not a fan of the juvenile narration or the writing style in general just from what you’ve mentioned, and the instalove sounds absolutely tedious. Characters who stand there for no purpose always get on my nerves, because I feel that if the author has taken the time to create and develop a character, then it should at least serve somewhat of a purpose in a book – even if it’s only for a scene or two.

    Anyhow, I think everything you’ve mentioned would bother me as well, so I’m probably going to give this a miss. Thanks for sharing Aimee, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3 Hope your next read is better!
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…Dangerous GirlsMy Profile

  8. says

    I was going to comment something but I got distracted by the potato below the ratings table lol
    Oh my, it’s bad when the characters already sound stupid, but what’s worse is when the useless parts of the story gets dragged. Hate those. And the “?!?!”? Seriously? HAHA

    Well, in my case I had been in awkward position with girls because most of my friends are guys and me and my girlfriends have different tastes in guys. There was one instance when my guy-friend’s beau got mad at me because she thought something was going on between us. It was partly my friend’s fault because he did not introduce us earlier.

    Anyways, great review Aimee! :)
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  9. says

    *sigh* It sucks so much that this one just sucked overall lol…it seemed interesting enough and im in such a contemporary quick right now i have to admit ihad had my eye on this one but now i don’t know *sigh*
    lily recently posted…Our Next Read{4}My Profile

  10. says

    That sounds pretty terrible! And yes, talking to someone without asking for their name is just idiotic. Who would do that? Anyway, sounds like a book I don’t want to read. The characters probably would irritate me.
    Nina recently posted…Doll Bones by Holly BlackMy Profile

  11. Larissa says

    Okay, first off the potato in the header and the end of this post is too adorable .< When will authors learn that even though teenagers may make immature choices doesn't mean that we're inherently immature? This truly annoys me to no end and really does make reading the story so much for difficult. The whole concept of also not talking to boys isn't possible. You can talk to boys, you got vocal cords to prove it lol. The issue is more due to awkwardness. It sounds like How to Meet Boys just hones on this awkwardness to the point where Mikayla sounds whiny.

    Shee-shaw. HAHAHAHA OMG :') I'm dying with laughter over here. I even tried to clench my mouth and try to say Jackson. It's nowhere near Shee-shaw, lol omg. Why was that even in the book?! It sounds ridiculous and so random. Insta-love! Exactly what I love to read in books (((: It's just so realistic and well developed. NOT. Ugh, honestly I would only find insta-love as a preteen probably, that's where it belongs in like a middle grade setting.

    Great review Aimee! (: Very well written

  12. says

    “What are you, a dating robot?” Okay, at that point I laughed WAY too hard. x) This is why I love your reviews. They’re freakishly hilarious. I think this sounds entirely irritating and not fun at all. >-< It's that juvenile voice too…oh and I totally got that out of your excerpts. Like, I mean, I AM delinquent at talking to anyone, but that is because I'm socially inept. 12 year olds can't talk to boys. Not 16 year olds. Unless, like, they were homeschooled in the deep dark jungle all their lives and never saw a strapping young gent. THEN I could understand. But this just sounds awkward and irritating.
    (But I loved the review.)
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman (It didn’t make me cry? What is this?)My Profile

  13. says

    Ah it sucks that you weren’t able to enjoy this book Aimee, to be honest I haven’t seen many reviews for this book so far, but from seeing the cover and reading the blurb I did sort of expect a fun Summer read. But I can see why this book in parts could be highly annoying. Thanks for the honest review Aimee, I probably will end up giving this book a go one day, so look forward to comparing notes! Also I’m loving your new design on the blog, its so pretty!!!
    Jasprit recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on my Summer TBRMy Profile

  14. says

    To the discussion question: HELL NO!

    Me and my bestie would never fight over a boy, when I fangirl over a boy that she likes as well, we go gaga over them, and fangirl and scream at each other, saying things like : “OHMAYGAHD, BEBE! HE IS SO CUTE!”. Tho we never really liked a real person or a guy we both know at the same time. We have a different taste when it comes to having a crush. (She kinda reminds me of YOU AIMEE! Ermergerd, I just noticed that! Whenever I fangirl, I am like an epileptic person, and she just hides because I’m too weird for my own good, haha

    Is it weird that I could feel you sarcasm? Or that I could actually imagine your voice inside my head, saying all this? Hahaha, I could feel your irritation and frustration over this. I do think it sounds very petty and immature. And that’s kinda saying a lot since you’re a lot younger than the actual characters and their two or one year older. Hope you find a better read Aimee!
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  15. says

    I can totally feel your distaste, Aimee. Haha! And I totally laughed at that “shee-shaw” thing. Like what the heck. I would probably roll my eyes if I were reading it though. And I think I’d be annoyed at the stupidity and unnecessary drama. :P
    I have in fact been in a baffled situation with a friend because of a boy. It was a mess and a huge stupid mistake. But I wad young then and I’ve learned. Haha. I think you just have to be open and honest with friends. If they’re true they’ll stand by you. That rhymes. Haha
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  16. says

    Oh man, this book sounds ridiculous and definitely very juvenile like you said Aimee. I would definitely want to chuck it around the room. I don’t know anyone that can’t speak to guys. Sure, they might get shy but for their jaws to completely lock? Wtf, where did you grow up?! Will not be picking this one up. Thanks for the honest review xx
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  17. says

    Honestly this book sounds sooo childish that way you describe it! And Shee-Shaw…BAHAHAHAHA!!! What the hell?? Where did she get that from Jackson??? I honestly would not be able to get through this book with a straight face, and as much as I enjoy cute YA contemporary reads, this is something I will definitely not be picking up any time soon. The insta-love is also something I loathe unless its believable and totally swoon worthy and doesn’t make me roll my eyes, which clearly here it does. There are just too many no nos here for me to even make a good comment. I totally understand why you wouldn’t enjoy this, Aimee. Sorry this didn’t work out for. Hope your next read is much better! Fab, honest review! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 
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  18. says

    Oh man, this sounds terrible! I hate it when you read a YA novel and you’re constantly trying to remember how old the characters are because everyone’s being such an idiot. It doesn’t sound like there was a whole lot to love in this one, which is a shame. Forbidden love/BFF relationships can be so fun when they’re done well.
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  19. says

    ‘Oh my God, shut up and pull yourself together, girl!’

    If I had a dollar for every time I wanted to yell that at a character, I’d be on my own private jet right about now. As soon as I discovered the first “?!?!”, that would have been it for me. That’s actually not a word author, it’s a series of punctuations you’ve used as a filler. What would that even portray? That’s like writing an entire novel as a text message, and badly worded one at that.

    No. Just no.
    Great review Aimz, I can always count on the Potatoes to weed out the crap books :)
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  20. says

    :( I’m sorry that you didn’t like this one, Aimee! I’ve read a book of Catherine Clark’s before, Wish You Were Here, and I found that it was pretty good. I’ve been wanting to read this one for a long time (mainly because of the gorgeous cover) but it probably wouldn’t be on my ASAP TBR list.

    You’re one of the bloggers who’s word I trust, as well as my friends Dawn and Saoirse (on GR) and I don’t think that I’ll pick this one up. Great review as always! xx
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