Chasing Boys by Karen Tayleur (January 6th 2009—Bloomsbury)
Grade: 1.5 stars out of 5
Summary: “El Marini just isn't fitting into the new life she's been forced to create without her dad. Her mom and sister have accepted his absence and moved on, but El is convinced things will get back to normal if she just keeps her feelings of loss to herself and waits it out.
Life at her new public school would have been unbearable if weren't for Eric Callahan. As her crush grows to epic proportions, she'll do anything to be more like the popular girls he notices, even buying the first pink top she's ever owned. But then she meets Dylan, a quiet artistic-type who is both unnerving and annoying as he shines a light on El's misguided attempts to attract Eric. El's need for acceptance will hit home with teens as she finally sees that chasing boys has distracted her from making peace with the past and finding herself.”
Review: As you surely tell from my grade, this book really, really, disappointed me. It should only take the reader a couple of hours to finish this book from beginning to end. Why? Because despite that it is 64 chapters and 256 pages long, the font is like size 20. Huge! I really wanted to like this book; I had such high hopes for it! I mean, look at the title! I was craving for a sweet and cliché book so I picked this up. And I have no words…okay maybe some.
So onward to the plot, which I seem to have trouble finding. I understood that it was about El (Ariel) chasing after Eric Callahan and trying to win his heart. But after three-quarters of the entire way through I still could not believe that the plot did not developed! I’m going to try summarize the entire story to leave it to the readers if it sounds good.
So I feel in love with Eric when I first transferred to Blair. I’ve been pining for him for ages, but he’s going out with Angelique, who’s only the most popular girl in school. Oh wait [!] there seems to some animosity between them. It’s my turn to shine. But, I kind of like his girlfriend, I should not be doing this…Hold up! You, my best friend that knows that I love Eric, like him too! And holy crap! Did Dylan just kiss me!? Where the heck did that come from!? Turns out Eric is just some crappy boy whose ego is too large for his head. Oh, Dylan, do ever come back! It turns out I really like you! Margot [my best friend], I forgot, it’s my dad’s birthday and I’m sorry that I yelled at you. Friends?
So I am just going to it there. As you can see, I ended it with a question. It corresponds to the true ending of the story. It leaves the reader frustrated because it was not even an ending! Where did the part about her father being dead come from!? I knew somewhere that her father left; I had assumed that he abandoned the family, so imagine my surprise that the ending was at the cemetery. Besides that I had questions about Dylan, his scar which the author leaves you hanging when she brings it just pages before the book ended? Angelique? Eric? Angelique with Eric? Desiree, El’s other best friend]? I craved for more information. Actually, I demand more!
Speaking of characters, El, was monotone. She was an one tracked album. A weeping flower in a arid desert. Need I say more? Dylan was…nonexistence. He appears every once in a while and his amazing kiss scene (one paragraph long!) and nothingness. I felt that none of the characters really developed or stood out.
Overall: I feel like a) pulling my hair out, b) crying from frustration or c) tossing this book into a fire. I’ll leave that decision up to you, my readers. So leave your comments after this review and I’ll take a picture of the winning choice.
EDIT: So C isn't really a good option, I know. I probably won't ever burn a book, it's just against my book loving nature.