Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Me & My Invisible Guy by Sarah Jeffrey
Author: Sarah Jeffrey
Series: stand alone
Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing (February 5, 2013)
Length: 247 pages
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.
Mallory leads a complicated life. Sure, everything looks perfect on the outside, but when you look closer everything is broken. Something bad happened to her older sister Darby and now the whole family walks on eggshells. Mallory and her parents have given up so much recently to make sure Darby is never alone, never has stress, and never has to worry. to avoid the same fate as her sister and serve as a good excuse she has invented Todd. Todd is Mallory's invisible guy, the imaginary boyfriend, and the go to excuse. The bad thing about lying so much is you eventually start to believe them and the way out is harder to find. When Mallory meets a boy worth falling for and her lies are exposed will she have any friends or family left?
I love the idea of a popular cheerleader making up a fake boyfriend so she doesn't have to deal with the stress and drama of the real thing. However, what the description on the back of the book doesn't tell you is how religiously focused the story is. I don't mind religion in a book, but when it is thrown at you at every turn the story gets...preachy. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. Me & My Invisible Guy turned int a PSA for abstinence and waiting until marriage.Every problem/evil in the book stemmed from the various characters fornicating. Mallory made up Todd so she wouldn't be pressured to have sex and wouldn't be ostracized when all of her friends are "doing it". Once all of Mallory's lies are found out the whole school turns on this pretty, sweet, nice, and popular cheerleader. Her squad turns on her and her friends turn on her. I don't know about your high school or your group of friends, but I don't remember any of us being that invested in the sex life or lack there of in the cheer leading squad. I'm not saying that bullying like this doesn't happen, but this was a little much and in the end the publicity that it garnered was way overblown.
Onto the next problem I had with the book as a whole. The subject of waiting to have sex. Not one person who has sex was OK. Miraculously by the end of the book these promiscuous but lovable characters were all happy since they were going to quit being "sluts" and not have sex. I'm sorry, but I believe that sex isn't an evil thing. It's a personal decision that shouldn't be made lightly, but not condemned either. If you decide to wait it doesn't make you a "prude or high and mighty" and if you do decide to have sex it doesn't make you "cool or a slut" either.
Don't get me wrong, Me & My Invisible Guy wasn't a horrible book. In particular, the character of Tessa, Mallory's best friend, is pretty awesome. She is probably the most emotionally real and relatable person. She had problems, tried to take care of them herself, got angry when she felt betrayed, and then got over it. She was herself and didn't feel sorry nor apologize for being that person. Darby was an interesting character in the first half of the book. Too bad she got a complete personality change in the second half. This change wouldn't have been bad if it had been more gradual. There should have been a more natural progression. Mallory herself was an OK character. I really felt sorry for her. her parents were too worried about her other sister that they gave up her her life in order to watch Darby and paid absolutely no attention to her. Even in the end she was still on the back burner family wise. Last but not least...well anyways there was Liam the love interest. Let's just say that I liked Todd better.
Overall, Me & My Invisible Guy by Sarah Jeffrey was just an OK book. In trying to convey that it is normal and nothing shameful in being a virgin it condemns the other side of the coin. if you are looking for a good reinforcement for the abstinence stance this is the book for you. If you are looking for a realistic book about young women's decisions involving their sex lives...pass this one by and keep browsing. I give this book a 2 1/2 STAR rating.