Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Me & My Invisible Guy by Sarah Jeffrey

Title: Me & My Invisible Guy
Author: Sarah Jeffrey
The cheerleader who has everything . . . ? Mallory Dane has a great family (at least on the surface), is popular at school (as long as she doesn’t make waves), and dates an amazing boyfriend, Todd (who happens to be completely made up). Boys—and sex—are something Mallory just can’t deal with, so she created her “invisible guy” to avoid it all. But when Liam Crawford comes along—a real guy, flesh and bones and strumming his guitar—Mallory starts questioning her fictional relationship. Is she really willing to give up Todd for Liam? And can she make amends for the lies she’s told—even to her best friend, Tess? What if your biggest, most embarrassing secret was broadcast to the whole world? Letting go of her secret will be easier said than done, and Mallory will risk everything—her family, Tess, cheerleading, her reputation, and most of all, her heart.

Me & My Invisible Guy on Goodreads
 Kala's Review:

*I received a free copy of this book via in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!*

I don't usually dislike 'issue' books (ie: books that bring up a buzz worthy issue, like pre-marital sex, homosexuality, underage drinking, suicide, etc), but I REALLY dislike when books get preachy with me and this book got very preachy. I am also not a fan of faith-based books and this book came across very much like a faith-based book that's been toned down somewhat to try and appeal to the mainstream.

Me & My Invisible Guy is about a popular cheerleader named Mallory. All of her friends have had sex with their boyfriends at some point and Mallory is too embarrassed to admit she is a virgin and doesn't want to have sex, so she created a fake boyfriend (Todd) and has told all of her friends that she and Todd have had sex.

There are reasons why Mallory doesn't want to have sex and I don't really want to get in to them because it will spoil parts of this novel for those who plan to read it. I'll just say that I understand and respect her reasons.

When a new guy, Liam, moves to the area, Mallory is instantly attracted to him and ends up having to dump her fake boyfriend so that she can have a 'real' relationship. This happens early on and Mallory spills the beans about her fake boyfriend to Liam pretty early on, so I don't think it's much of a spoiler to mention that.

Liam is a very religious guy who is also a virgin and doesn't believe in sex before marriage.

One of the girls at his church, Lexi, who is also a classmate of Liam/Mallory, has a crush on him and doesn't approve of Mallory dating him. Mallory is a cheerleader and supposedly had sex with Todd, so she is one of "those" girls that Liam shouldn't be dating. Lexi constantly inserts herself in Mallory and Liam's new relationship and causes problems for them. She keeps trying to steal Liam and even goes so far as to tell Liam how slutty Mallory is so that he won't date her. She also makes snotty comments to Mallory and vaguely threatens her.

Eventually, once Mallory's secret comes out, Lexi apologizes.... but the big issue I had with this is that she apologizes for midjudging Mallory, not for treating her badly to begin with. Basically, what Lexi said is that because Mallory is a virgin, it's okay for them to be friends now. And that Mallory isn't one of "those" girls, so Lexi can be nice to her. I'm fairly certain the Bible talks about not judging others and how that's God's job - so I really would have preferred Lexi actually feel bad for mistreating and judging ANYONE, but instead she just feels bad for mistreating Mallory because Mallory wasn't the slut she originally thought.

As for the faith stuff... it was a bit much. I don't know how to describe it other than it just felt like I was reading something that belongs on a Christian Books for Teens list. While those books often have a purpose of the main character 'finding God' and changing his/her life, which wasn't 100% the case here, we do have a LOT of Christian preachiness going on here which was overwhelming. While I'm not anti-religion, I don't like it this hardcore in my novels.

Another main problem with this book is that I feel it tried to tackle too many issues at once. We have abstinence, bullying, STDs, suicide, abusive alcoholic parents, and overbearing military parents (who disown their kids if they don't follow the chosen path of armed forces). Not to mention tackling the family issues that arose in the aftermath of the suicide thing. While I feel like the author handled these topics respectfully (which is always appreciated), it seemed too much.

Overall though, the book wasn't bad. I liked Mallory a lot. She came across like a very real teenager - something rare in YA these days! I probably will not read anything by this author in the future, mostly because of the religious stuff, but she has some talent and if reading faith-based stuff is your thing you'll probably like her book.
3 out of 5 stars.

Link to Kala's review on Goodreads:

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