Title: Ditched: A Love Story
Author: Robin Mellom
Release Date: January 10th, 2012
Page Count: 277
Source: Borrowed from the New York Public Library
THERE'S A GIRL.
Justina Griffith was never the girl who dreamed of going to prom. Designer dresses and strappy heels? Not her thing. That said, she never expected her best friend, Ian Clark, to ask her.
AND THERE'S A BOY.
Ian, who always passed her the baseball bat, handle first.
Ian, who knew exactly when she needed red licorice.
Ian, who promised her the most amazing night at prom.
THEN THERE'S A DITCH.
But when Justina is ditched, figuratively and literally, she must piece together--stain-by-stain on her thrift store dress--exactly how she ended up dateless...with only the help of some opinionated ladies at the 7-Eleven.
To get the whole store, Justina will have to face the boy who ditched her. Can losing out at her prom ultimately lead to finding true love?
[Summary Source: Goodreads]
Oh boy. From the very start of this book Justina is a hot freaking mess. I actually feel bad for her and her sad, dress-matching shoes. But after I spend a couple of pages mentally saying "oh honey" at just about every turn, I begin to realize that I'm kind of "oh honey"-ing myself. The stubbornness, the assuming, the making a mess of just about everything... well, I'm still pretty good at all of that, even though I try REALLY HARD to keep it together. And that's the beauty of YA. I might be 23 years old, but deep down inside I'm still just like Justina, the nervous girl who just wants prom to be perfect even though I don't think anyone's every really had a perfect prom (and if you did, I just don't want to hear about it. Seriously. Go home.).
Let's break this down:
The beginning of this book is really compelling. It starts early in the morning with Justina getting ditched on the side of the road in a stained prom dressed looking like she had the worst night of her life. Consider me and the ladies in the 7-Eleven totally hooked.
Okay, I'll admit it, even though I find Justina totally relatable, there are times when I'm like "yo, bro, stop being so FREAKING annoying." I'm citing moments like her sudden alcoholism, her obsession with this perfect kiss and a couple other bits and bobs that I won't mention since I don't like spoilers. But other than that, I'm WITH this girl. I laugh with her, cry with her and cheer for her at the very end when things, inevitably, get straightened out.
And then there's Ian, whom I love. To be completely honest, there were totally times when I was like: you are not a real boy, do not lie to me. He's so sweet, kind, thoughtful, absolutely adorable and very un-boy-like. But then, when he sorta kinda actually does ditch Justina at prom, you're like, oh, he's all of these wonderful adjectives but he's also entirely clueless, which puts him squarely back into the real boy category.
Of course, there are other characters in this book that I adore: Justina's well meaning mother, Mike, Other Mike, Serenity, Bliss, Gilda, Donna and even Allyson, who, in the end, just wants someone to LISTEN to her, which is something I think everyone on the planet wants. But I think my favorite moment in the whole book (besides the scene at the tattoo parlor at the end, OBV) is with the pastor who walks into the 7-Eleven. Donna asks him why all men are scumbags and he's just like: "A man's behavior is often a reflection of the way he's been treated by a woman." And then I was like: O_O. I stopped reading after that and thought about all of my friendships with boys for a good 5 minutes. That pastor man (or rather, Robin Mellom) really knows what up.
Anyways, aside from awesome characters and sick knowledge bombs, the whole plot of this book was one of those crazy wild rides. I cringed at a lot of the stuff Justina does (aka when she gets annoying), but mostly I just felt for her. She gets jerked around and ditched and even molested a little bit on her prom night, which is supposed to be this hugely magical night. It's miserably miserable and because I relate to her so strongly, I got a little weepy and started yelling at the book a little bit. Then the prom-story chapter would end and we'd switch back to the 7-Eleven-present chapter and Donna and Gilda would start calling everyone scumbags for me and shove food at Justina and I somehow felt just a little bit better until the end came around and brought me my closure.
So really, what I'm trying to say, is that Robin Mellom hooked me, made me feel all kinds of feels (annoyed, thoughtful and otherwise) and then brought me some solid YA closure. I like. You might like too.
Plot: Proms are the worst, so this is all totally plausible.
World Building: A super sweet boy and a neurotic girl? This is high school, so yeah.
Character Development: Okay, at times I want to yell at Justina, but mostly I love everyone.
Prose: Clever, sarcastic, witty - I like.
Would I Recommend This Book?: Yes. Unless you really hate prom, instead of hating the actual event but loving books about it like I do.
Tell me about your prom. Was it as terrible as Justina's? Did you LOOOVE it? Would you want to read a book about said event or leave it to reality? Let me know in the comments below!