Suzanne was sweet enough to have me sent an ARC of The Naughty List and I wasn't at all surprised to gobble it up within a day. I've long loved her ongoing story blog, Going Green, and knew TNL wouldn't disappoint. It didn't! As one of my goals this year is to promote the authors and books I love, I'm going to attempt to review it for you.
Title: The Naughty List
Author: Suzanne Young
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: February 4th, 2010
First line: Sigh. A padlock? Who padlocked their gates in this neighborhood?
"As if being a purrfect cheerleader isn’t enough responsibility! Tessa Crimson’s the sweet and spunky leader of the SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens), a cheer squad–turned–spy society dedicated to bringing dastardly boyfriends to justice, one cheater at a time. Boyfriend-busting wouldn’t be so bad . . . except that so far, every suspect on the Naughty List has been proven 100% guilty!
When Tessa’s own boyfriend shows up on the List, she turns her sleuthing skills on him. Is Aiden just as naughty as all the rest, or will Tessa’s sneaky ways end in catastrophe?
The Naughty List. Is your boyfriend on it?"
The Naughty List is as cute as the pink cover is bears, but hey, if you're just not into cutesy pink covers please stay and let me convince you of its fun fabulosity!
Head cheerleader Tessa, along with the SOS or Society of Smitten Kittens, spends her days keeping things peppy at high school and her nights catching cheating boyfriends. Through an anonymous cell phone and top-secret correspondence, the SOS receives cheater reports and then susses out truth and proof by going on daring missions and employing spy tactics. When Tessa's boyfriend Aiden shows up on the list after the transfer of a meddlesome, attractive brother-and-sister pair, Tessa begins to lose control. After all, the SOS has a 100% proven-guilty rating. What are the chances of Aiden being an exception?
I loved so many things about this book. Tessa and her friends make it easy to get caught up the story. The voice is original and fun and Young brings depth, realism, and intrigue to the cheerleader stereotype. There’s a lot more going on here than your average high school drama, a subtle message I think a lot of teens will relate and respond to. And who doesn't want to read about a secret society?!
But it’s more than just a great cast of characters with a fun story to tell. Young used her tools as a writer and found ways to make the writing and story really memorable. By incorporating fun Cheater Incident Reports, alternative cuss words (“Mashed potatoes and gravy!”), and other secret (and oftentimes hilarious) correspondence, I feel she turned an already fun read into something unique and engaging. I can imagine myself as one of these cooperative cheerleader spies, dishing out pep and bad news in equal, saucy amounts for the betterment of my high school.
It’s a fast, well-paced read with an engaging plot and story line. I was pleasantly surprised by the turn of events and extremely satisfied by the ending. That’s a biggie for me. I have to give props to authors that can write a realistic, satisfying ending and Suzanne did. It’s not the perfect romantic ending we'd all wish for ourselves but it’s real and it’s hopeful. So, kudos Suzanne.
And guys? If I was in high school right now, I'd totally want start up an SOS after reading this. Cheating boys (and hey, girls too) across the nation, watch out!
The Naughty List is the first in a series of Naughty List books and I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel, So Many Boys, coming June 10, 2010.