Review & Giveaway: My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody

Jessica Brody's website here // $12.74 from {amazon}
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (June 7, 2011)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Source: Publisher (ARC)


Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment.

Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure.

But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else be the one to decide which book I read for English. Or whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: Chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated!

Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever.

But don’t take my word for it, read the book and decide for yourself. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream in frustration. Or maybe that’s just me. After all, it’s my life.

My Thoughts:  

If you’re thinking MY LIFE UNDECIDED sounds like just about every other chick lit, then, hey, great minds think alike. The only reason I read MY LIFE UNDECIDED can be summed up in one word: blogging (which, FYI, is pretty freaking awesome).  So imagine my surprise when I found MY LIFE UNDECIDED to be a novel that, while light and occasionally over-the-top, revealed frank honesty and precious nuggets of wisdom.

If I had to pinpoint what makes MY LIFE UNDECIDED more than another read, it’s definitely the voice. Brooklyn has an undeniably strong 15-year old voice, whether it’s talking about burning homes, the elderly, clothes, or boys. On the plus side, it promises to be extremely relatable to pre-teens and younger teens, especially with a never-ending stream of humor. Some of Brooklyn’s ideas and actions are insane, but with willing suspension of disbelief, they make for a fast-paced and entertaining read. On the other hand, Brooklyn’s often superficial thoughts had me going “Really? Really. MAN UP.” Not out of true irritation, but it’s obvious Brooklyn’s a good kid; she just needs to make the right decisions.

Decisions, decisions. Jessica Brody really touches on the greatest fear and the greatest power that most, if not all, teens have – or anyone for that matter. In MY LIFE UNDECIDED, Brooklyn turns over the decision-making power to her blog readers, which is integrated in an aesthetically pleasing and easily readable format. I don’t want to ruin the story, but ultimately, your decisions are always right, even when you’re wrong. And it’s comforting to have that reminder, that it’s your life and whatever way you choose to live it is right.

That lesson, along with valuable others concerning friendship, forgiveness, and more, are what make MY LIFE UNDECIDED special. Its young voice and exciting plot will resonate with younger readers as it sneaks in some key lessons that even I am still struggling to come to terms with. Overall, MY LIFE UNDECIDED isn’t a contemporary bucketful of tears or fuzzies, but who really cares when you’ve got humor, life lessons, romance, and soul-searching wrapped in a cute package? I’ll take books over buckets any day.

(…God, I made myself sound like I’m 61 instead of 16 in this review.)

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Bottom Line: To quote CoverGirl: Easy, breezy, beautiful! Or just read the last line of my review.

Cover: It's simple, it's cute, and the bling really reminds me of Brooklyn's attitude. I can't say much on the physical accuracy, since there wasn't much physical description in MY LIFE UNDECIDED -- but that's a good thing. Jessica Brody puts just enough detail to satisfy and not enough to bore. (Maybe I've been reading too many epic fantasy stories lately...)



I have one ARC of MY LIFE UNDECIDED to giveaway, courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 

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