Life By Committee
by Corey Ann Haydu
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Length: 304 pages
Obtained Via: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via Edelweiss from the publisher. I was not compensated for this review, and this is no way affects my opinion of the book.
Format Read In: E-ARC
View at the Traffic light:
I am unsure. Green light for me:
But as far as recommendations go, yellow:
Some secrets are too good to keep.
Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat.
Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.
Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.
Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.
But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?
My entire inner monologue while reading Life by Committee was this: “Tabitha, oh, honey. . . ” in that well-meaning but slightly disapproving tone. Tabitha is a bit of a mess. Her life is a bit of a mess. She’s the daughter of the town pothead and a young mom who’s now expecting another baby. She lost her friends when she “grew up” a bit before they did. She’s down to one real friend and she’s infatuated with Joe. . . who is another girl’s boyfriend. Her former friends haven’t exactly made life easier for her, even involving the school’s guidance counselor.
It’s all a big mess for Tabitha until she discovers the website Life by Committee, and decides to start living better. She posts a secret, gets an assignment, completes it, and feels the adrenaline thrill. The secrets, and the assignments, keep escalating. Still, Tabitha preserves on, convinced that Life by Committee has her best interest at heart.
Life by Committee is a novel full of bad ideas and things that make you want to shake your head. Tabitha was often selfish and immature, caring little about the effect her actions could have on others. The entire Life by Committee was obviously a colossally bad idea. And yet. . . I found myself getting swept up into Tabitha’s story and feeling for her. So many of her bad choices could have been pulled from the stories of my high school(perhaps not my experience, but definitely from a collective pool of my classmates’ experiences).
Life by Committee was often a story of watching Tabitha’s life fall apart. In the end, though, it ended on a positive, if cheesy, note. I would say that Life by Committee is a bit of a coming of age tale, but it’s not as cut-and-dry as all that. It was definitely a tale of identity, and how it’s formed. A story about choices and perspective. And while I’m not sure if I would recommend it to most readers, I found myself rooting for Tabitha, despite her constant bad choices.
Life by Committee is a messy look at a teenager’s life. While some parts of the plot might be far-fetched(the idea of Life by Committee website in the first place, for instant), the parts that focused on Tabitha’s life rang incredibly true to me. 4/5 cupcakes.