Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: The Opposite of Tidy

Author: Carrie Mac

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Pages: 361

Date of Release: April 10. 2012

Publisher: Razorbill

Rating: 10/10

Summary: How do you come clean when your life is a mess?

Fifteen-year-old Junie is barely coping. Her mother has started sleeping in the chair in front of the TV, and the house is so packed with junk, newspapers, cupboard organizers and other helpful items from the Shopping Channel that she can barely get in the front door. Her father is no help, since he’s always with That Woman. To top it off, she’s failing math.

So when Wade Jaffre, the hot new guy at school, offers her a ride home from school, it seems too good to be true. Junie surprises herself by accepting—and even talking! But as they approach her house, her parents are outside, screaming at each other. Junie doesn’t have to think twice about directing him on to her best friend Tabitha’s house, nor about continuing the charade of pretending she lives there.

Tabitha and her mother are understanding—and willing to go along, for the moment. But as the weeks go by, Junie’s lies start piling up and the opportunity to tell the truth seems to slip away. Until the day Junie’s world—and her mother’s—is literally turned inside out for the world to see, and Junie and her mother must face the consequences of her mother’s illness ... and the lies they both told to hide it.

Review: The summary does not do this book justice! This book is raw. I was cringing from parts in the book, because they were so RAW and REAL (alliteration, people!). Even so, this was a heck of a good book. I just finished it last night around 1:00am. That's why my eyes look like bruises today.

Junie's mother has a problem, a hoarding problem. There house is full of things that her mom buys through the television. I could imagine that being real, because there are people out there that do have this disorder. It was interesting break reading this book, because it didn't involve anything supernatural. Junie has a crush a on a really cute guy named Wade. Wade is the new guy in town and starts to notice Junie. One day, he offers Junie a ride. But as they near her house, Wade sees a divorced couple yelling in the middle of their front yard. Little does he know that they are Junie's parents and poor Junie is so embarrassed she lies and tells him to go to a house a block down.

This is the part where it gets cringy, like you know she is going to do something bad and there will be harsh consequences. She tells Wade that she lives in that house, but really it's her best friend's house. Junie gets Tabitha and her mom to go along with this lie. When Tabitha's mom tells Junie to fix he problem, she doesn't. She keeps lying to Wade and the lies just keep piling up. After everything is going so well in Junie's world of lies, it comes crashing down and her lies are spread out for the world to see... literally.

Every time I turned the next page, I kept thinking this is when the poo is going to hit the fan. I was into the book, that my heart sped up every time she told another lie. Though, that's why I enjoyed this book. It started to get really interesting at the end when the TV people come and expose Junie on live television. Whew, I tried to imagine what would happen if that were me and I think I would live my days in a remote cave. Seriously.

I thought the characters were really well developed. Carrie Mac made believe that I could have friends like that. If I had to choose a character to be, it would be Tabitha. It is wrong to lie and she tried to tell Junie that, but she wouldn't listen. Wade seem to have his own personality and wanted to have Junie in his life. I thought Junie was a little bit selfish and dumb when she thought it was okay to lie for "a little while." That is just not right. Junie's mom... a didn't like her one bit. Not because of her problem, but because she manipulates Junie. I mean seriously, are really going to make your fifteen year old daughter help you clean up piles of poo, pee, just plain sewage, because you don't want anyone in your house. I would have moved to the other side of the country. And every time Junie tried to reason with her, she would end up crying. I don't know how Junie put up with it.

The story line was wonderful. It didn't just explode together, it came part after part. Beginning, middle and end, just like they teach you in grade three.

I don't have anything else to say. I guess you have to read it to be blown away by it's awesomeness. A hundred high-fives to the author who made this astounding book. Whoo hoo!

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