Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chick Pick: My Life Undecided

My Life Undecided
by Jessica Brody
RR Donnelley & Sons Company (Farrar Straus Giroux)
299 pages
(Amazon has it listed as 320 pages, but my copy has 299)

Blogger's Note: I find the idea of a teen using a personal blog to make her decisions quite quirky and wish I had thought of this idea!)

Funny, quirky, comic, quick-witted, and over-the-top melodramatic Brooklyn Pierce is a character girls will love. She is so confused and in so much trouble, she turns to the "people" of the Internet to make her life's decisions for her. Since she burned down her mom's model home and faces arson charges and tons of community service hours in a local nursing home, she knows the decisions she has been making on her own just aren't good ones. She feels genetically pre-disposed and blames her DNA for making bad decision.

So Brooklyn posts her blog "My Life Undecided" and asks readers to choose for her. Their job is to choose which book she should read for English--The Grapes of Wrath or The Old Man and the Sea. Their second vote is whether she should sit alone in the cafeteria like a leper or hide out in the library like a wimp. A total of eleven people find her blog and decide she should read The Grapes of Wrath and have lunch in the cafeteria. Brooklyn is true to her blog readers and follows their directions.

Brooklyn sits alone at lunch and tries to eat quickly so she can escape, but as luck would have it, she begins choking on canteloupe. Lucky for her, someone grabs her from behind and wraps arms around her waist causing the canteloupe to dislodge. Her savior is a boy from her English class--Brian Harris. She's never noticed him before probably because she used to hang out with only the most popular people and Brian is just a quiet guy. Brooklyn soon nicknames Brian "Heimlich" on her blog and hot guy Hunter becomes Rhett Butler--in one comic moment, Brooklyn originally names him "Red" Butler, but her blog readers correct her and tell her the name is actually "Rhett."

When "Rhett" invites Brooklyn to a funky downtown club that his father has just opened, she knows it's off limits. Her parents would never allow her to go. She dearly wants to go and hang with Hunter, "Rhett," but leaves the choice to her blog followers. The majority assures her to stay away; it will only get her in trouble. Brooklyn follows them again and goes to dinner with her parents just blocks away from the club.

Performing community service in a nursing home is no laughing matter, but Brooklyn meets a crotchety old lady named Mrs. Moody who allows her to read to her. Soon Brooklyn actually looks forward to her visits and decides maybe old people aren't so bad after all, especially moody Mrs. Moody.

Brooklyn pines over Hunter, "Rhett" and can't see the good guy standing right in front of her Brian "Heimlich." It takes her blog readers to spell it out for her. In a cute twist, Brooklyn finds out Heimlich has been following her blog for weeks! Readers who like girl-y picks with plenty of comedy and drama will love My Life Undecided.

Highly recommended grades 7-up. No language, no sex, but mention of underage drinking and a "party." No more details mentioned other than that there was a party and people were drinking.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not received monetary compensation for this review.

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