Tuesday, May 5, 2015

ARC Review: A Tale of Two Besties

Title: A Tale of Two Besties
Author: Sophia Rossi
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Source: Unsolicited ARC from Penguin
“If there’s one thing Sophia Rossi understands completely–it’s besties. Only an ultimate BFF like Sophia could create the super-special bond that Harper and Lily have in A TALE OF TWO BESTIES .” —Lauren Conrad

“Plumbing the depths of friendship and cliques, this debut novel will speak to fans of Rossi’s popular website, HelloGiggles, as well as all girls trying to discover their own identity while learning what it means to really be friends.” — Booklist

*Featuring a foreword by 'New Girl' star Zooey Deschanel*

Perfect for fans of Kody Keplinger's  The DUFF  by and Morgan Matson's  Since You've Been Gone,  the delightfully funny debut novel A TALE OF TWO BESTIES is full of giggles and surprises. 

Best friends. BFFs. Soul twinsies. Whatever you want to call them, Harper and Lily were born to be besties. With high school just around the corner, casual-cool Cali girl Harper and awkward, always-costumed Lily make sure to text each other every day about their bond:

Harper: I love you so much that I am going to sneak out of detention to pay that guy from Craigslist $100 to cut off all your hair for my secret collection.
Lily: I love you so much I’m going destroy everyone in your life that matters and force you to depend and love only me.
Harper: That sounds beautiful. I love you.

Not even the threat of different high schools could throw this BFFship off-course, even if Lily begs her parents not to send her to the “dreaded Pathways," a special school for creative types, while effortlessly-popular Harper attends Beverly High with the rest of their class.

But in a city where fitting in means standing out and there’s nothing more uncool than being cool, it’s the naturally charismatic Harper--with her blond hair and perfect bone structure--who finds herself fighting the tide of American Apparel’d teens who rule the school. Meanwhile, it’s the perpetually “gawkward” Lily--who accessories every ensemble with a pair of tattered fairy wings--who finds herself flying alongside the queen bees of Pathways. Can BFF-ship survive the tidal wave of HS drama, or does growing up mean leaving some friends behind?

“It's like my twins stepped out of the eighties and dropped down into today. Deliciously funny with heart.” – Francine Pascal, bestselling author and creator of the Sweet Valley High series

My Review

They were the best of friends, they were the worst of friends. "It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness." (Come on... it called for it!) But I didn't care enough about besties Harper and Lily and their coming-of-age story to see this book through to the end and get a resolution. 

So... what exactly went wrong with this book for me? If you are my friend or follow me on Goodreads, you would have seen a positive status update about how cute I thought the book was in the beginning. The girls were a great pair and funny, and I was loving their friendship. Unfortunately, it went way downhill from there. I had to call it quits on this debut novel by Sophia Rossi at 59% because it was annoying and a tad too immature. Also, some of the language made infuriated me.

What could possibly be wrong with the language, you say? Well for starters, it's full of a lot of Internet lingo. Okay... not necessarily the worst thing in the world, especially in a YA because kids do speak like that in real life. I kind of expected that, but it's a bit overdone. But then it gets offensive with some body shaming and slut shaming. Say what? Like really? I was not expecting that, but in Harper's narrative, she shames a girl for hanging on a guy like a "slutty poncho." I kid you not. There are also lines about the same girls "impressive thigh gap" that come off as sarcastic and rude. Yeah... not my cup of tea.

The two main characters, Harper and Lily, are the most basic girls I've ever come across in YA literature, and it's funny because they make fun of basic girls throughout their narratives. Yes, they live in Los Angeles, California, but that doesn't mean they have to be airheads about a lot of things. Both lose their sense of self so early on in the book, and it becomes cringe-worthy watching these two feed on all the drama in their freshman year of school. Harper lies one night to fit in while Lily's naïveté causes her to befriend the cliché mean girl and transform her into someone who she's really not. It's been done before.

I couldn't deal with the immaturity and the "problems" that these two privileged girls had in the book. Some of the problems were real, like feeling lost when your best friend is no longer a physical presence in your every day life, but some of them were brought on by incredibly foolish behavior that they know is wrong. 

It definitely felt a little young and immature for YA if you ask me. I'm sure younger readers (ones moving from Middle Grade to YA) will eat this up and really enjoy it, especially if they like reading about drama-ridden lives. But if you aren't a fan of drama filled books, steer clear of this one.


  1. Ohh No I'm reading this book now for the ARC review... I don't know I'm only on page 5 until I stopped to look for a review and luckily you had one. Hope I can finish this one though!

  2. Oh no! I hope I didn't scare you away from it. I just couldn't stand reading more when I had such a sudden hatred for the book.

  3. Grace @ Rebel Mommy BookBlogMay 6, 2015 at 5:44 AM

    Yikes on the body shaming and slut shaming especially. Not a fan especially when it can be for younger readers. Thanks for the review!

  4. Right? I substitute teach, and I've noticed a decline in middle school and early high school bullying since I was in school, but kids are still so impressionable at the age that this is targeted for. :(

  5. I can understand. Too many catchy phrases drives me insane and along with your other disappointments, I can see why you were frustrated enough to put it down. There are to many other things to read. Am I right?

  6. I've never even heard of this book but I see that Lauren Conrad has a quote on the cover which makes me upset if the book is bad like you said! LC is like my favorite person in the world. Definitely probably won't give this one a shot!

  7. Yeah - I don't get bothered by catch phrases or internet lingo if it's done in moderation, but there was a lot of emphasis on it in this one.

    And yes... way too many other books to read. I have a pile of about eighty books. lol

  8. I love Lauren Conrad too, but I didn't like her L.A. Candy book very much. I'm learning that I don't trust her when it come to writing. Fashion, yes, but that's about it for LC.

  9. I actually liked her LA Candy ones but not the spinoff series so far. I think I liked the books because to me LC is perfect but also because I was obsessed with Laguna and The Hills and I felt like finally we were getting secrets into how reality shows work!

  10. You know what's funny... the learning the ins and outs of reality TV was actually something I liked about her book. I just felt like a lot of the plot was too similar to The Hills.

    I'll probably still read the two remaining books in L.A. Candy, but I'm not really interested in the spinoff trilogy.


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