Genre: YA Contemp Romance
Publication Date: 6/12/13
Rating: 5 stars
Shy girls don’t yarn-bomb the school fence at dawn, and they definitely don’t skip school to hang out with Patrick Hayes—student council president, football vice-captain (and president of his own fan club).
But then, best friends don’t usually resort to blackmail.
Fifteen-year-old Mabs is the shadow to Olivia’s sun. That’s how it’s always been. But when Olivia goes on a semester-long exchange to France, Mabs can no longer hide behind her best friend.
When a letter arrives, postmarked Paris, the last thing Mabs expects is blackmail. And unless she completes the enclosed list of dares by the time Olivia gets home, Olivia will send the love poem she stole from Mabs’s diary to the boy it was written about.
What’s even worse than the possibility of Rob Eno (her way too easily decipherable codename for the former object of her affections) seeing that poem, or her best friend thinking that she’s a friendless recluse who needs to be blackmailed into getting a life, is having to admit it just might be true.
After a few humiliating attempts, Mabs realises the only way she’s ever going to get the list finished in time is to enlist the help of an extrovert. Enter Patrick Hayes, her brother’s pain-in-the-neck best friend. The ultimate extrovert, he might be the only one who can help Mabs finish the list, and step out of Olivia’s shadow.
I was really excited for this novel when I read the blurb because a) I am a huge fan of Young Adult and b) it involved blackmail. Hah! The heroine's best friend is the outgoing one, so when she gets to go to Europe for a semester she decides to take matters into her own hands for getting Mabs to come out of her shell. There is a letter, a list, and a threat to reveal her deepest, darkest secret to her long time crush if she doesn't follow through with it.
Mabs is reaalllllly mad at this turn of events. She likes being a wallflower, and she doesn't feel like she needs to change. She swears off Olivia...but wouldn't luck have it that her brother's best friend Patrick finds out about the list. And when he decides to help her complete it...she agrees, even if she acts like having Olivia's brand of fun may actually kill her!
This story reads really, really, really fast. I think Goodreads lists it in at 155 pages, but I felt like the characters were fun, the premise was fun, and the entire thing just a lot of fun. You may or may not want to have nostalgia shot your way for your awkward teen years, but I enjoyed it immensely. I couldn't wait to see if she completes her tasks, or if her crush would find out about her, or if she and Patrick would continue to develop into best friends. I loved his character, and I think you will too.
The Oyster's Autobiography is fun, there is a bit of angst, there is a lot of frantic thoughts on Mabs part as she struggles through her sophomore year without her best friend, but the journey she goes on is well paced, well written, and full of secondary characters that made me smile, sad, and mad. I enjoyed it so much! Check it out.
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