Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Paperback: 352 pages
Genre: Young Adult
First Line: Rachel, Kyle, and I rocked up to the El Shack del Tacos straight from seventh period.
One Word Review: Trendy
Emma Freeman had planned to spend the summer before her senior year in high school hanging out at the pool and working with her boyfriend, Brian. When she realizes Brian may not be the boy of her dreams after all, she takes advantage of an internship in New York City and heads off with her BFF for what is sure to be a fabulous summer. But, things don't always work out like you plan, and Emma soon finds that life in the city isn't all Sex in the City glitz and glamour. Her boss is a joke, and a few little white lies may come back to haunt her.
Let me start by saying I am not a teenage girl. In fact, I find gaggles of teenage girls (the kind you find hanging out in shopping malls texting each other even though they're standing right there!) to be rather annoying. Forgive me if you're a teenage girl. I mean no disrespect. But, it's no wonder, really, that the main character didn't really connect with me. I didn't find her immaturity and naivete endearing. That said, I do think that teenage girls will relate to Emma, and I think they will enjoy being able to vicariously live out this fantasy summer.
While I don't care to spend a lot of time around groups of teenagers, I do like young adult fiction. The stories are often fun and easy to read, and Hot Mess is no exception. Anyone who enjoys losing themselves in a story that only requires a little suspension of disbelief will find this book a pleasurable read. However, if you easily tire of pop culture references, this might not be the book for you. Occasionally, they got a little tedious for me (and some I just didn't get at all - probably due to my being generationally challenged), but again, I think this is something that will speak to the target audience.
Overall, I found it a pretty enjoyable read. Considering it's the debut novel of both authors, I think it shows loads of potential, and I'll be watching for more from Kraut and Lester. If you're interested in serious literature, this may be one you'll want to avoid, but if you like chick lit, young adult fiction, or just need a book that requires little cerebral effort, then you'd probably enjoy Hot Mess.
If you like books like Hot Mess, you might also like: