The last one in the title is me.
Tbh I have had a couple of these three reviews languishing in my to-post folder for literally months so I guess it’s time to get on that!!!! There’s literally no reason not to!!! It involves very little work and that’s the only thing I avoid!!!!!
Okay. These contemporaries are Dangerous Girls, We Are Okay, and By Your Side. I gave two one star and one three and a half stars. Wild. Let’s get into it.
Synopsis: Bunch o’ rich teens on vacay in tropical locale. Then, MUUUUURRRRRDEEEEERRRR.
This is totally stolen from the Amanda Knox case. Here’s a SPOILERY list of “””similarities”””” (“similarities” really means “stolen concepts”).
- white, pretty, Western female students living 2gether in a foreign vacation spot
- one roommate/friend is murdered (Meredith in the Knox case and Elise in the book)
- the other roommate/friend is the suspect (Amanda Knox versus Anna in the book)
- the suspect’s boyfriend is also, well, suspected
- the case is a bananas media circus
- the crime is sexualized by the media (in both the book and the case, reporters try to make it seem like the suspect was hella into the victim)
- photos used as evidence (specifically photos of the suspect and the boyfriend laughing and kissing hours after discovering the body, and photos that make the suspect look all murder-y)
- there are bloodstains in the bathroom the suspect says they didn’t notice
- the suspect is in shock & therefore behaves like nothing happened, so the media goes bonkers
- repeated use of the phrase “cold-blooded killer”
- the media and prosecution call the suspect a sociopath with legit no evidence
- the prosecution in the foreign country is under international pressure to Solve The Case
- so they try to make the suspect seem all violent and angry
- they wanna solve it so bad they ignore other potential suspects, including a local dude who was harassing the victim before her death, was connected to recent burglaries, and who fled the country (I MEAN COME ON)
- the murder weapon was a knife from the kitchen with the suspect’s fingerprints
- both victims (Meredith and Elise) were found dead of multiple stab wounds in pools of their own blood, with their clothes removed or tampered with (which leads to the sexualization of the case)
- both suspects (Amanda and Anna) used the following alibi: chilled with their BFs then showered
- the evidence is pretty circumstantial
- prosecution has no timeline
- personal writing of the suspect is published/used as evidence
- the suspect hangs out in a foreign prison for months
- the suspect tearfully apologizes to the victim’s family for their loss (and the media is like oh helllll ya)
- the suspect pleads not guilty
- even Nancy Grace is hella involved
On top of that plagiarism from reality, this was boring and slow, and I hated the characters, and the ~big reveal~ made no sense, probably because it was smushed into a handful of pages after reading hundreds.
BY YOUR SIDE
Synopsis: Two people get trapped in a liiiibraryyyy and fall in looooooove. Or whatever.
I straight up forgot everything about this book within a month. All I remembered was that there was a library, which played big in the synopsis and was STRAIGHT UP A QUARTER OF THE BOOK.
This dumb ol thing is supposed to be appealing because the dumb ol characters get TRAPPED IN A LIBRARY TOGETHER (amazing), but that has like nothing to do with this book. Neither character reads or otherwise takes advantage of being in a library, and they just talk about how cold they are before being freed WAY BEFORE THE BOOK ENDS. SO LAME.
This is mostly just a super flat female character and a really boring “””bad boy”””” and a f*cking LOVE TRIANGLE and just stupidity and boringness and did I mention no bookworm attention. DUUUUUMB LAME I HATE IT.
WE ARE OKAY
Synopsis: Marin leaves her SoCal hometown (idk if it’s SoCal but kill me before I say NoCal – hahahah I say NoCal to NoCal) without telling an
yone and then her best friend comes to visit at college!!!! 😮 what will ensue
You should probably just go read the whole thing in order to watch me tactlessly forbid you from feeling any differently about this book than I do, but Sparknote version: this is a really good depiction of depression and going to college and mourning but also sometimes it’s really dumb in terms of that depiction so that sucks but overall still probably the best summary of the feelings I’ve read in YA.
Most importantly, I think we all agreed by the end of the book that if you ever call it “boring” I get to pinch you. Oh, what? We didn’t agree on that, I just said it? Too bad. My vote counts for a thousand votes. See: My election as Ruler of Books. I DON’T CARE IF IT’S JUST A TAG.
Clearing these three reviews out of my posting folder is like a WEIGHT off my SHOULDERS, guys. Even if I actually wrote full reviews for all of these on Goodreads and then just had to write completely new minis.