Thursday, 28 January 2010

Review - Something, Maybe (Elizabeth Scott)

Summary -
Everyone thinks their parents are embarrassing, but Hannah knows she's got them all beat. Her dad made a fortune showing pretty girls--and his "party" lifestyle--all over the Internet, and her mom, who was once one of her dad's girlfriends, is now the star of her own website. After getting the wrong kind of attention for far too long, Hannah has learned how to stay out of sight...and that's how she likes it.

Of course, being unknown isn't helping her get noticed by gorgeous, confident Josh, who Hannah knows is her soul mate. Between trying to figure out a way to get him to notice her, dealing with her parents, and wondering why she can't stop thinking about another guy, Finn, Hannah feels like she's going crazy. She's determined to make things work out the way she wants....only what she wants may not be what she needs.

Review - You could dismiss Elizabeth Scott's Something, Maybe as a frothy romance with some emotional entanglement but if you look deeper you often discover that she's written many ideas and slipped them in like a mother trying to convince you to eat vegetables at dinner.

Scott's writing is so effortless at times that a reader doesn't realise how deep the protagonist's issues run until they are neck deep in them. While the romantic arc of the story is full of snarky interchanges, misdirected lust and bucket loads of miscommunication, it's the family storyline that really captured my attention. Scott has covered some BIG IDEAS in this relatively short novel with her examination of Hannah's family. Her mother makes her living by videotaping herself in lingerie and her father is the Hugh Hefner of this universe. As a response she's shut herself off from her peers with an exception to her best friend Teagen and the two guys she works with (one she adores, one she tolerates).

Hannah knows herself almost too well and doesn't let herself breathe. She's cynical, her past experiences have weighed heavily on her and she withholds her hope from her father and from the boy she's crushing on. Despite her insight, she lacks awareness in her own life. Her romantic entanglement is extremely clear to everyone but her. This adds some credibility to the predictability of the situation. Her friend alludes to her true feelings in an unobtrusive way, her crush is aware of the situation, as is the other unfortunate fellow. What I enjoyed most was that the fellow with the crush on her is hanging tight to the one situation that created an opportunity for him to connect with Hannah. And so, that situation, her truck's reliability is a great running theme, not only as it was a time where he established himself as a support but also as it implied his care for her well being.

Most interesting to me was the triad that made Hannah's family. She has issues with both. Her father is shallow, egotistical and is unworthy of her. Her mother, the loving and supportive one, trounces around in her underwear. But despite her mother's vapidness, she's got great intentions and a steel spine. Scott integrated most teen girl's body image concerns in with that of Hannah's fear that people would brand her as promiscuous due to her mother's career path. It's a small touch but it works amazingly well in crafting this strong, three dimensional girl that leads us through some lust worthy guys and some dubious parents.

A great, fun and fabulous read!

Published: 2009
Format: E-book, 224 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source of Review Copy: purchased
Origin: USA


Jonathon Arntson said...

You've enticed me.

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

This was in my top ten for last year. It's a great romance, but it goes depeer than your typical light romance and I loved the family dynamics of the story. Such a great read!

prophecygirl said...

I really enjoyed this one too - great review Adele. Elizabeth Scott is my favourite writer in this genre after Sarah Dessen, I think she's brilliant.

Robby said...

I love Elizabeth Scott.
This book was great. :]

April (BooksandWine) said...

Excellent review Adele. I hadn't considered reading Something Maybe, but since you mention all of the ideas, it's definitely going on my list.

Reviews like this I love because it shows YA is more than just a fluff genre and really should be taken seriously!

Daisy Whitney said...

Great review -- I adore Elizabeth Scott and for the very reasons you outlined. There's always more than meets the eye to her work!