Monday, January 17, 2011

The Education of Hailey Kendrick - Eileen Cook - 2011

Title: The Education of Hailey Kendrick
Author: Eileen Cook
Year: 2011
Date Read: 1-16-2011
Overall Rating: * * * 1/2 (3.5/5)

GoodReads Blurb: Hailey Kendrick always does exactly what's expected of her. She has the right friends, dates the perfect boy, gets good grades, and follows all the rules. But one night, Hailey risks everything by breaking a very big rule in a very public way...and with a very unexpected partner in crime. Hailey gets caught, but her accomplice does not, and Hailey takes the fall for both of them.

Suddenly, Hailey's perfect life--and her reputation--are blowing up in her face. Her friends are all avoiding her. Her teachers don't trust her. Her boyfriend won't even speak to her for long enough to tell her that she's been dumped.

They say honesty is the best policy--but some secrets are worth keeping, no matter the cost. Or are they?

Plot: * * * *
Characters: * * * *
Style: * * *

My Review: I liked this book, but not as much as I liked Cook's previous two novels. (Edit: somehow missed that she wrote another book, Unpredictable, which is now at the top of my "Must Find This Book Now" lis). What Would Emma Do? and Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood really grabbed me and I loved the stories and characters. Hailey Kendrick is caught vandalizing a piece of her school campus, and refuses to give up the person she is with because he has more to lose than she does. The story follows the repercussions of her decision not to tell and how this affects her relationships with just about everyone in her life.
I like Hailey, though she was a little too easy a character to peg, and I really liked Drew, the "townie" she meets on cleanup detail. Their conversations were really well done and I loved their back and forth banter. However, the supporting characters, like her friends/boyfriend Tristan, Joel, and Kelsie seemed so boring to me. There was no spark, no reason that I could see to be drawn to any of them, even when Cook explained why/how Hailey and Kelsie became friends.
I felt like the emotional scenes, particularly the weird chemistry that could have happened between Joel and Hailey, the fight between Hailey and her father, and the scenes between Hailey and Tristan could have been more powerful. They felt lacking. I wanted Hailey to scream at her dad, not just forgive him and talk it out and be "closer than ever" in a day. On its own, I would have liked this book more, because even though it was well-written, it didn't feel as strong as her other two books.
Though I would recommend it just because Drew was such a nice character and even though it was a little predictable and had a very "wrapped up in a bow" ending, it was still nice and had a great message to convey about standing up for yourself and learning who you are.

To Buy: Amazon

Currently Reading: Zombies Vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

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