"What did you think?", Goodreads asks me, so I'll tell you what I mostly thought while reading: "Nope, nope, nope." That's it, basically.
Ok, it got a little better at the end and I almost granted it two stars (which would be quite good, considering my high amount of nope-ing), but then, it's just too...nope.
One reason for my reaction could, of course, be, that I'm simply not that much into 13-year-old-girl-finds-true-love-novels anymore. I cannot deny that there still are some books of this kind I percieve as cute and enjoyable, but well, this one obviously not.
A major reason may be my general dislike for snarky first person narrators in YA novels. Mostly, they are annoying at best and punch-in-the-face-able at worst, but this girl tops everything.
I know, to describe her change into a better person she has to start kind of un-likeable, but this was just over the top.
Kacey hosts a tv progam at her middle school (do things like this exist? I live in Germany, so I'm basically a person from medieval ages)in which she reads out anonymus letters from other pupils who seek help in some way. Her support mostly consists of harsh insults and apparently the whole high school idolizes her for being a huge a-hole. Her other hobbies include being mean to her friends (under pretence of simply wanting to tell the truth, like real journalists do), being incredibly superficial and lying to either get boys to like her or date her friends (where is your journalistic truth now, Kacey?).
Firstly: I am aware of the fact that 12-year-olds are not the well-rounded, highly moral, modest and friendly human beings I would like them to be.
Secondly: If today's 12-year-olds really are like the characters in this book, I do not want to live on this planet anymore.
It was hard to believe that they are about 12/13 at all - at the beginning they seem more like the classic backstabbing, popular, I-describe-every-single-part-of-my-outfit-including-obscure-brand-names homecoming queens we all know (in my case only in fictional form), but then their age was mentioned and like the sensitive lady I am, I fainted.
After some pages which gave me the chance to build up an immense dislike towards Kacey, I could happily witness her tragic downfall:
She gets BRACES. [gasps]
AND GLASSES. [faints, again]
Yes, I know this does not make one happy; I had to endure both. But, breaking news: From the beginning on it is made clear that both of these terrifying instruments will only accompany her temporarily - she will need those freaking glasses for only four weeks or something like that, and still, this catastrophe destroys her whole life and hopes and future and what you will.
I'm sorry. I do not take the situation in all its horrible immensity seriously. I simply can't. Believe me, I've tried, but all the time I was silently screaming at the pages: "PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER AND CUT THE DRAMA."
The bigger part of the book consists of the blahblah we all know: the freakish braces-and-glasses-monster has to live outside of civilized society and befriend nerd boys with skinny jeans. The horror!
This life-changing experiences lead to her becoming a better person and finding the love of her life. Standard.
But it is not so much the plot I criticize, really, but the characters. It's a comedy book, and therefore a certain degree of exagerration is excuseable, but really?
Maybe this was just the final sign that I should stop reading young adult literature, which would be kind of sad, to be honest.
Anyway: How to Rock Braces and Glasses is nothing I would recommend to anyone ever. Stories like this can be found in countless other books, and in most of them the main character is not that utterly dislikeable.
The hints that her behaviour could be a result of her father leaving the family could have been a good idea, but seemed half-hearted and unconvincing to me. That's really a pity, I was hoping that at one point the book would be able to evoke a bit of empathy inside me.
I'm sorry. This review might be quite rude, and this even is the polite version. In my head it contained certainly more swear words.
I am happy for people who really enjoyed the book, but, to be honest, I do not understand.