Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

Release Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

Some secrets are too good to keep. 

Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat. 

Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.

Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe. 

Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.

But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?

From the get-go, I knew this one would be different. I mean the title – Life by Committee. Peaks your interest, doesn’t it? A secret “society” with assignments for a secret is definitely not the typical contemporary. Personally, I would not see the appeal of trading secrets for dares aka tasks related to the secret, but this definitely sounded pretty cool and I was intrigued to see where this would lead.
The cover made sense later on in the book. I was really confused about it before reading the book, because it didn’t seem to relate to the book at all. At first I was like, “Ooo cute shoes... but wait, what does that even have to do with the story...” but it turns out that they do play quite a part in the novel.

Tab – short for Tabitha – was someone I could relate to and empathise with. She had perfectly normal reactions as a teenager, besides the LBC thing of course, and I could see why her character didn’t want to give into her former friends. I love her fascination with marginal comments in books, and I too LOVE The Secret Garden (but have yet to read A Little Princess – I really liked the movie though!). She’s into romance movies as well (so am I!), and so it’s clear to see, other than the whole risk-taking thing, I enjoyed being able relate so closely with the character.
Ugh Joe. I didn’t like him right from the start. I mean, if a guy constantly keeps focusing on the fact that you’re hot, and doesn’t talk about the other amazing qualities a person might have, a little bit weird and suspicious right? But then again, I could see how she could be completely blind to this in the “relationship” they have. I mean, if a hot guy said he wants to be with you, I get that she would be swept away in the idea of a fairy-tale romance. But nope! No go, Joe. No go.

On a side note, the story reminded me a lot of the TV show Awkward. A girl in a secret relationship with a popular boy (who is a jock no less), young parents who had her when they were teenagers, changes that lead to complications with friends– there are quite a few similarities! I only saw it after though, which was good, otherwise I would have pictured the actors with the characters, and thus gotten confused with the story, mixing it up with the television plot line.
There’s (of course) a twist at the end of all of this. Something to do with the last person I would have ever expected things to happen with, and it really does come together and make sense. The ending was kind of like a cliché high school movie from the 90’s (think She’s All That), but it was sweet and I liked it.

Life by Committee was riveting and remarkable, and Corey Ann Haydu’s gorgeous novel kept my eyes glued to the pages. I haven’t read OCD Love Story yet, but it sounds original, just like this one, as I’m sure will her other books to come. Looking forward to more from this fantastic author!

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