Today for our July Book of the Month: The Naughty List series by Suzanne Young, I wanted to bring you a couple quick reviews of the first two books in the series. I think these are some fun reads, perfect for summer. Here’s more:
Book Review: The Naughty List
Finding out a boyfriend has been cheating on you is something just about every girl dreads. And if you’ve had the misfortune of experiencing this, there’s nothing you want more than revenge. Retribution. Justice!!
In The Naughty List, Suzanne Young brings these emotions to the forefront — with a group of high school girls who go on the offensive, spying on suspected cheaters for their fellow classmates. And when these ladies aren’t sneaking around, spying on boys — they’re shaking their pom-poms as the school cheerleaders, the so-called Smitten Kittens.
The Naughty List is the type of book you read to escape. It could easily be categorized as “chic lit” for the YA set (albeit older YA readers, since there’s a fair amount of swearing, sex and underage drinking involved). Reading The Naughty List is the book equivalent of those goofy teen movies I remember secretly adoring back in high school; movies like Can’t Hardly Wait and She’s All That and Bring It On.
Does The Naughty List delve into serious subject matter? Not so much. But is it a fun read? Absolutely. It’s the kind of book you can curl up with to check out of the world for a few hours, and just have fun with. Plus, it’s nice to read about a group of girls who put each other first. And although the themes and subject matter are vastly different — reading about the spying cheerleaders in The Naughty List evoked the same sort of nostalgic, girl-power feeling I got many, many years ago reading The Baby-Sitters Club.
Book Review: So Many Boys
Suzanne continues her tale of spying cheerleaders in So Many Boys with a mystery. An imposter is encroaching on their territory — and now the Smitten Kittens have to turn from spying on cheaters, to spying on potential “copy-Kittens.” But while So Many Boys has the same fun and spunk and perky spark that The Naughty List embodied, it’s actually got — in my opinion — a more engaging plot.
I had fun reading about Tessa’s escapades in The Naughty List. But I was genuinely intrigued by the mystery surrounding the copy-Kitten in So Many Boys, and while reading it, I found myself trying to piece together the clues. Though still a lighthearted read, it had a much more “page-turning” quality to it. I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened next.
And this quality continued through the very last page — when all I wanted to do was delve into book three … which isn’t out until November. (Which has me wondering if I can possibly sweet-talk Suzanne into giving me a peek at an early copy … *hint hint.* Subtle, aren’t I?)
I also thought the characters were much more interesting to follow in So Many Boys. Tessa has gone through a transformation since the events of The Naughty List, and she’s not quite the same perky cheerleader she once was. She questions herself and her role amongst the Smitten Kittens; her thoughts on certain guys in her life have changed. She’s not quite sure where she fits in with her friends anymore, and when they try to help her restore her “popular” reputation, she’s not so sure she really cares about being popular anymore. It’s refreshing to see Tessa adjust her priorities, and struggle with what she wants. Likewise, we get to see more depth from Tessa’s friends and the guys in her life.
Needless to say, So Many Boys is definitely my favorite book of the two — but you can’t fully appreciate all it has to offer without everything that’s established first in The Naughty List.