Review: Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Why I chose this book: This book popped up on my Goodreads dash several times before I gave it a look. Realistic fiction is one of my favorite YA genres, and I have lately been in a fantasy black hole. This book was also on my summer reading list, and one of the few I've left to knock out.

Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publish Date: May 14, 2014
Format: Kindle
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary/ Realistic Fiction
B&N || Amazon || Indiebound

Some secrets are too good to keep. 

Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat. 

Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.

Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe. 

Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.

But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go? (Goodreads)
What I liked: 
This book deals with a lot of heavy issues, and doesn't worry about stepping on anyone's toes. Tabitha is a lonely girl who went through a mass exodus of friends (she discovered boys and her body discovered boobs). She realizes that guys like her, and she's falling for a boy who has a girlfriend. For Tabitha, she feels that every action is being judged by either her one friend, her parents, or her former friends. This causes Tabby to seek alternate places to confess her secrets and find companionship.

What I Loved: 
Tabby accidentally stumbles upon the group Life By Committee. Once there she meets an eclectic group of people with problems equally as troubling as her own. She bonds with them, enjoying their lack of judgement and the encouragement they provide Tabitha as she seeks a grander life. I enjoyed the dynamic of the LBC group. They are seekers and dreamers, passionate and wild. Each member of the group also has a aura of genuine care for Tabby. This is something that plays out in the climax of the book as secrets explode and truth comes to light.

What I Didn't Like: 
While this book deals with a lot of hard issues, the way Haydu presents the issues feels completely unauthentic to me. Some of the tasks that the LBC'ers dish out are just completely unbelievable. I wanted so desperately to believe them, but in my heart I knew real life simply wouldn't play out the same way.

Final Thoughts: 
This was a tough book to read. It dealt with issues that are hard to read, much less experience. I wanted to like the character of Tabitha, but she just didn't appeal to me. I felt like she needed to take charge more than she did. Despite this, I really enjoyed the writing that Haydu brought to the table. It made the book be an easy and enjoyable read.

I gave this book 4 stars on goodreads.

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