Today we are excited to participate in the blog tour for Not Pretty Enough by Jaimie Admans. Not Pretty Enough is a young adult contemporary book that was released August 1, 2013.
About the Book
Not Pretty Enough
Pub Date: 8/1/13
Genres: YA, contemporary, comedy
Synopsis:New Year’s Resolutions:1. Lloyd Layton will know I exist. He once said three whole words to me, so this is obviously progress. If I don’t get a proper conversation out of him soon, then I’ll take my top off and streak through the cafeteria, because nobody could fail to notice these boobs.2. I will not get expelled for streaking through the cafeteria.”Those are the words that begin her mission.Chessie is fourteen, not pretty enough, and very much in love. Lloyd Layton is hot, popular, and unaware of Chessie’s existence.Her goal is clear: to get Lloyd to love her as much as she loves him, and she has exactly one year to do it.As Chessie’s obsession with Lloyd reaches boiling point and she starts to spin a web of lies that spiral out of control, Lloyd turns out to be not quite the prince she thought he was. Can Chessie avoid the gathering storm before things go too far?— — — — —Not Pretty Enough is a contemporary young adult comedy suitable for ages thirteen and over.Book two in the series will be released early 2014.
Not Pretty Enough has a lot of things going for it. It is quirky, fun, HILARIOUS, and (eventually) has a good message. It reminded me of Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging. The book begins at January term, where Chessie decides she is going to get the attention of the boy she likes — even if she has to make a perfect fool of herself in the meantime.
And thus begins a year of ups and downs, laughs and tears, and Chessie learning about who she is and who defines her self worth.
A few things:
1. Books like this one make me feel my age. As much as I like to protest (in my head) that I’m still young and hip, turning 30 is right around the corner. The way you know you are turning 30 is when you identify with the parents on Good Luck Charlie. However, younger YA readers will love (and relate to) this story.
2. Although I never got a crush as serious as Chessie’s, I suffer from extreme clumsiness and an overall sense of awkwardness. I swear reading this book made me notice that much more how much of a klutz I really am. I feel your pain Chessie. And while it doesn’t go away as you get older, you do find people who love you because of it!
3. Jaimie Admans — you’re writing is so natural. I felt like I was reading a diary of a 14 year old girl. You put me in her head and made me remember, just for a little while, what life was like at that age. And man, I don’t miss it one bit! I can also see how much of your heart you poured into this book.
Chessie makes a lot of DUMB decisions all for the sake of like. At times I found myself shaking my head, screaming NOOOOO Internally, and even cringing at the things she said/thought/did. Then I had to remember her age. And how every kid that age does stupid things. And thinks stupid things. It made me remember the stupid things I thought/said/did at that age. WHAT was I thinking!?! Luckily, Chessie’s best friends are the voice of reason for Chessie — and unluckily she doesn’t heed there advice too often. Which basically means hilariousness will ensue.
And it was hilarious. I found myself smiling and laughing for most of this book. It’s like watching a Ben Stiller movie — you are going to cringe at the awkward, but you’ll laugh all the way through.
The book takes place in Wales, so be prepared for some new vernacular. Once you get the word exchange down, you’ll flow right along with the story. Sometimes I have issues with reading British writing because of how different it is. However, with a bit of practice and the help of Google, you’ll get the hang of it quickly.
There are a few critiques I have. Mostly, it seems as if there are SO many crazy things happening to Chessie — and that starts to make the reader feel bogged down. The events start to become repetitive — which damages the comedic effect the author is going for. My second issue is there are a few things that happen that were quite serious — and they never seem to really be addressed outside of Chessie’s mom. I don’t think it would happen this way in reality. However, the book ends on a high point and with a great message for kids. Yeah, we all mess up and do stupid things. That won’t change no matter how old you are, but hopefully they will be few and far between as we grow up.
There’s a common misconception that everyone wants big boobs. Let me tell you something: they don’t. If they’re fourteen and have a chest bigger than most of their school, including the teachers, they don’t. I’m a DD cup. People pay thousands of pounds to have their boobs enlarged to be smaller than mine. I can’t remember the last time I passed for a half fare on the bus. Or the last time a bus driver asked my face and not my chest for the fare. Everyone notices boobs when you’re my age. In fact, the only human in the world who doesn’t notice them is the one person I would quite like to notice them.
I’d quite like him to notice my personality too, but at this point just noticing my mere existence will do. If I have to use my boobs to lure him in, then so be it. The thing is, Lloyd Layton is hot, popular, and really, really tall. Taller than everyone else in our year. Taller than the teachers. Occasionally taller than the doorways. He knows what it’s like to be picked on for a physical attribute you can’t control. He’s different too. He knows what it’s like to be an outsider. Okay, when it comes to Lloyd Layton, he’s not really an outsider, because he’s absolutely gorgeous and loads of people like him, and I doubt anyone would dare to pick on him for anything because he could knock them flying with one swoop of his gigantic hands. But still. He’s taller than everyone and I have bigger boobs than everyone. We’re clearly a match made in heaven. It’s just a shame that he can’t see it yet.
But I’m sure he will one day soon.
I’m actually moving closer to that goal because he said one sentence to me back in December.
One sentence. Three small words. Not the three words I would like to hear him say, but I’ll take what I can get.
It was the last lesson of the last day of term before the Christmas holidays. Double technology. Not usually something to get excited about, but we came to the conclusion that the Christmas spirit had gone to Mr Vale’s head because he let us watch a movie in class instead of doing any work.
The Princess Bride.
We were allowed to pull chairs in around the TV and sit and watch a movie for two hours. Guess who pulled his chair in not that far away from mine?
I don’t know what happened next. I can’t explain it. It was like having an out of body experience. I’ll never understand how I had the courage to do it, but halfway through the film, I leaned over and said, “This is a good movie.” To Lloyd Layton. Better than that, he actually replied. He said, “Yes, it is.”
Three whole words.
It got even better than that again because after it was over and we were putting the chairs up on the desks, he smiled at me. A real smile. And it wasn’t at the person behind me because I was next to a wall. He smiled at me.
About the Author
Jaimie is a 28-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, drinking tea and watching horror movies. She hates spiders and cheese & onion crisps. She has been writing for years but has never before plucked up the courage to tell people. Afterlife Academy is her third novel and she hopes you enjoy it. There are plenty more on the way!
Connect with Jaimie
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