Friday, May 25, 2018

ARC Review: The Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan

Title: The Accidental Bad Girl
Author: Maxine Kaplan
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 384
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After getting caught hooking up with her best friend’s ex on the last day of junior year, Kendall starts senior year friendless and ostracized. She plans to keep her head down until she graduates. But after discovering her online identity has been hacked and she’s being framed for stealing from a dealer, Kendall is drawn into a tenuous partnership with the mastermind of a drug ring lurking in the shadows of her Brooklyn private school. If she wants to repair her tattered reputation and save her neck, she’ll have to decide who she really is—and own it. The longer she plays the role of “bad girl,” the more she becomes her new reputation. Friends and enemies, detectives and drug dealers—no one is who they appear to be. Least of all Kendall.

My mom was able to snag this book for me at Yallfest last year.  I didn't know too much about the book going into it other than it was about a girl getting framed and leading to her getting sucked into the drug selling world.  Because of this fact, I didn't really have a lot of expectations for this book and was just kinda meh about it.  I was not really into this book nor was I really against it.

I have to give Kaplan some credit for trying to blend contemporary and mystery/thriller genres, but I just wasn't feeling it.  The book seemed to be one genre one moment and then give me whiplash as it became another.  I do wish this book had a bit more of mystery in it as it seemed to lack in that and be almost too predictable.

I found Kendall's character to be a little strange.  I feel like the deeper I try to delve into her character the more uncomfortable I become.  She didn't seem to have any true friends at all, people slut shame her horribly, and the deal she made with the drug lord was almost laughable.  I would've said screw it to the space camp and not delivered the drugs.  Kendall does end up learning a lot from her mistakes and growing a bit in the end, but I'm still not really sure how I feel about her.

This book did try to hit on things like the aforementioned slut shaming and rape, but I'm not really sure if it was in a good way or not as there aren't too many books out there that talk about these topics and, thank goodness, I haven't had to deal with issues like that.

I do kind of like how the romance was handled in this book.  I couldn't live with myself having read this book if it ended any different from how it did.  And there really wasn't to much of it which was a pleasant surprise compared to most YA books written these days.

While I do wish this book was a bit better, it definitely was pretty good for a debut novel, and I'll probably pick up another one of Maxine Kaplan's book in the future.