Title: Hot Mess: Summer in the City.
Author: Julie Kraut and Shallon Lester.
Genre: Fiction, YA lit, chick lit, teen, romance, humour.
Publication Date: 2008.
Summary: Emma Freeman is waving buh-bye to her standard summer of station-wagoning around the suburbs. This summer she’s heading to the big city. Emma’s totally prepped for days at a fabulous internship and nights of socialite-ing around town. But when you’re 17 and not an heiress, reality is far from pink fizzy drinks and red velvet ropes. As the summer heats up, Emma learns that glamour is hard to come by when your only friend is too boy-crazy to hang, your budget is more H&M than D&G, and you spend 8 hours a day working for a man who proves that the devil wears Dockers too. Add one little white lie told to one very hot coworker and a roommate who makes Paris Hilton look junior varsity, and this summer in the city is starting to turn into one hot mess.
My rating: 6/10
My review: The writers definitely have me beat at the best-worst metaphors, which I generally enjoy. Unfortunately, these kinds of books were never my métier, nor could I relate to them in any way, even when I was in the protagonist's age bracket. This book was littered with popular culture references, most of which I didn't get, and the heroines were the kind of girls I've always had a firm stance against associating with. The plot is weak, the entire thing borders dangerously on trash, but for a quick fun read it's passable - gave me a few chuckles.
♥ "... We could go dancing?"
I knew that was a stupid idea as soon as I said it. I danced like a donkey on Rollerblades and Rachel was even worse. The only thing she knew about rhythm was based on Dance Dance Revolution. And a girl who danced in a perfect square faster and faster just made everyone uncomfortable.
♥ I was as close to spontaneously combusting as you can get without being in the Fantastic Four.
♥ The apartments got smaller and smaller, and the parade of potential roommates started to resemble a Surreal Life highlight reel.
"I have my Wiccan sisterhood meetings here every full moon. That's why I have this goat."
"I have this lower intestine issue and I use a lot of toilet paper, but I barely use paper towels. So it evens out."
"I cook with curry."
♥ "... I thought about forking myself in the eye it was so boring. But then I remembered that I forgot to bring any extra contacts to New York, so I can't really fuck this pair up. Remind me to ask the parentals to send up more next time they call, 'kay?..."
♥ So okay, I was lost, but maybe I could pick up some sweet outfits anyway? As Rachel always says, if life gives you lemons... stick them down your shirt and make your boobs look bigger!
♥ He leaned into my cubicle, his gut cascading over the fabric-covered fiberglass wall that separated my cube from the mail cubbies. "Because I remember when I was your age. I used to party all the time." When he said "party", he kind of shimmied, which I assumed indicated that back in his day "partying" actually meant grotesquely fat men moving their shoulders.
♥ The two of them laughed. "It's like you work in The Office!"
"Yeah, but it's not half an hour every week. Eight hours a day, every day - even with Steve Carrell, that wouldn't be funny."
♥ He winked and Jayla giggled into his neck and he turned suddenly and kissed her on the mouth. They exchanged heated eye contact and she mouthed something I thought looking like "Coatroom" but could have been "Go poo."
♥ Okay, when I find out that this guy is famous - anyone this hot has to be famous - and relive this story for Rachel, I`m just going to say we went to second base at this point. I mean, his nose was like only inches away from my skin. Totally counted.
I giggled, and then tried to turn it into a deeper, more mature laugh but just ended up something like a dog before it throws up.
♥ Instead, in an effort to win the Awkward Olympics, I jerked back suddenly. "Who, me?" I pointed to myself with a thumb, drawing more attention to the wet spot on Jayla's tube top. "Yeah, I'm good. I mean I'm doing well. Good is an adjective and you need an adverb there. I mean, one would need an adverb there." I couldn't be more awkward if I started peeing myself right there.
♥ He was like the social Harry Potter - he could turn any of my blubbers into legit conversations. Pure magic!
For the record, I had not just lied to him. That was simply avoiding the truth. Telling him that I was a barely eighteen-year-old high schooler would go over like a "yo' mama" joke at an orphanage.
♥ I sat there, paralyzed by his hotness and charm as he gushed about his rain-forest hikes and all-night parties in a tone of enthusiastic appreciation that up until now I;d only heard guys use to describe boobs.
♥ Sometimes even best friends need a punch in the mouth.
♥ All I could do was imagine the possible conversation startes I could use if I ran into him.
"Oh, hi, you probably don't recognize me when I'm not dripping in spilled cocktail, but I'm that girl from the other night... the one you talked to for a while... well, maybe like only forty-five minutes, but that's kind of a while... and I thought you were flirting... My best friend said you probably weren't, but... anyway, I'd be interested in jamming my tongue in your mouth. You know, making out."
♥ I sat there, gaga-eyed, totally stalled in my alphabetizing for fifteen minutes before deciding to get some fresh air.
And by “fresh air” I meant “chocolate”.
...I headed to my cubicle, grabbed a fistful of change from my wallet, and trudged over to the elevators for a trip to the vending machine, hoping chocolate would fulfil my need for male attention, excitement, and intellectual stimulation all at once. I knew it was a lot to ask from the Mars Candy Corporation, but dammit, it was worth a shot.
♥ “Ladies and gentlemen,” the tall and gangly one started in a complete monotone, “my friend and I are here selling candy to help raise money for our basketball team.”
The gangly and tall one continued in his buddy’s same dead monotone, “So please, buy some candy for only one dollar. This will keep us out of two places: the poorhouse and your house.”
♥ Derek was reclining back with his feet up on his desk and his arms folded behind his head. The pose was kind of pinup girl-esque, but more a display of male-pattern baldness and midlife weight gain than of coy sexiness.
♥ I drafted a few completely terrible e-mails.
I have some news to break to you. I’m not old enough to buy liquor, but I can buy cigarettes. Still want to be my summer boyfriend? Please keep in mind that cloves are making a comeback.
Hmm. No, too subtle.
Ever wanted a second chance to win Prom King? Well, have I got an opportunity for you!
Too game show-like. This wasn’t Who Wants to Get Arrested for Statutory Rape?
Technically, this isn’t paedophilia, but I bet (hope) it’s the closest you’ve ever been.
♥ While the message was not from CurlyRach91, my inbox held something even better than a link to www.settleforbrian.com. It was an e-mail from CChristensen@mediainc.com. The subject line read “Saturday, Miss Freeman?” Birds chirped and fat black women sang “Hallelujah” in the background as I clicked his message open.
♥ I waved and attempted to position myself sexily in the doorway without looking like I was trying to scratch my back on the frame.
♥ I could tell she was a little embarrassed about bragging, but I’m sure it was totally true. Rachel always was a pretty hard worker and got decent grades. She was probably kicking ass at her internship while I was just working for an ass.
♥ Maybe my next Sirlie article would be called “Beauty and the Bitch” and it would be a story about a perfectly lovely boy who falls for a girl who he thinks is just your average twentysomething but turns out to be an awful lying bitch.
I was starting to think I didn’t deserve my name in computer-screen print. Aren’t journalists bound by some sort of oath of truth? Or was that Pinocchio?
♥ Same thing here – I did this to myself. How many times over the past few weeks could I have prevented this explosion from ever happening?
At Plumm: No, I don’t know what a Caipirinha is because I’m in high school. And high schoolers only know what keg beer and schwag is.”
At the vending machine: Want a peanut M&M? They melt in your hand not in your... I’m in high school.”
At a weekend breakfast: Hey, you know what would taste good with these bagels? A high school diploma. Do you have one of those? I don’t... yet.”
♥ I poked around in my cube for a while, cleaning up and watching my in-box, hoping for an e-mail from Colin to pop up. I prayed for a subject line to the effect of “You say statutory rape, I say tomato”...