The sequel to The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, inspired by The Importance of Being Earnest.
Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn’t going to do this summer.
1. She isn’t going to stay home in Sacramento, where she’d have to sit through her stepmother’s sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn’t going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn’t going to the Air Force summer program on her mother’s base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender’s Game, Ellie’s seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it’s much less Luke/Yoda/”feel the force,” and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn’t appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she’d be able to defeat afterwards.
What she is going to do is pack up her attitude, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she’s going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?
This summer’s going to be great.
Geek culture has been invaded.
It’s true. It seems like there is a whole subgenera of YA books that deals with the subject matter. There are some really good ones and there are some not so good ones that make me want to throw my Funko pops at someone.
Lily Anderson seems to like this subgenera. The one other book she has written pretty much can be described as Big Bang Theory lite. I remember liking it, but not loving it. This book tipped my interest though because it was suppose to be a retelling of The Importance of Being Ernest. Which was probably one of my favorite plays that I read during high school, it probably helped that we watched the Colin Firth movie in class. Come to think of it, Mrs. G showed a lot of Colin Firth movies in class.
I sort of get why.
If you haven’t seen The Importance of Being Ernest its really a comedy of manners and its fairly quick witted. Translating it to a modern day setting should’ve been an interesting task. However, I found myself quickly bored with this version.
It started off fine. We had an interesting set up, but I wasn’t laughing in this retelling. I was just like get on with it already…and while there was na interesting set up it just kind of fizzled after awhile.
I think that was part of the problem I had with Anderson’s earlier work too. Great set up, decent characters, but then the plot sort of stalls and doesn’t move. And that’s what exactly happened in this book.
I thought about giving it more time, but honestly I think this year if anything has taught me that if something does not hold my interest to DNF and that’s exactly what I did here. I honestly felt sort of bad about it though. There were a lot of things I did like about it. The MC seemed complex, had interests that were outside of the realm of mainstream YA. The love interest looked possibly intriguing as well. But everything about all the characters was just intriguing. It was like when am I going to get a pay off…
Also, this is a companion book to The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You, while you definitely don’t have to read that book to understand this one, if you haven’t read it, it’s sort of like reading an inside joke. While the characters from the previous book only make minor cameos, it’s like Anderson obviously expects you to know them. Since it’s almost been two years since I read said book I had to sort of think about who some of the minor characters were from that particular book.
So yeah, this was a little bit of a dud for me but I might try picking it up again one day. I just hate things that drag and this one unfortunately does.
Overall Rating: DNF