I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Anything Goes on a Friday Night, written by Sara Daniell, is a book filled with drama on par with an episode of Keeping up with the Kardishians. I’ll be honest, this isn’t the kind of book that I usually read. I’m all for YA fiction, but high school drama isn’t usually the type of YA fiction I dig. Cancer teens, teenage vampires and werewolves, teens killing each other or rebelling the Capitol, or teenage wizards, those are my kind of YA novels. Just a human gal with more problems that Bella Swan and Katniss Everdeen ever had? Not so much. And while this wasn’t my favorite read, this book did have some really great moments. There were great instances of humor and sass from the female lead which is my bread and butter. There was just enough romantic build up and climax that was perfect for any romance novel (Harlequin style I might add, good for you Sara Daniell). There were also characters that were written really well. This just wasn’t my kind of book, but I would recommend it to my teenaged cousin and all her friends.They love things heavy with drama and Snapchat.
So much happens to Elena (Ellie to her friends) in the first nine chapters of this book that I honestly questioned if she would survive the book. I get that teenagers are met with strife, but this just felt like more drama and tumult for one individual to handle. This felt like Real Housewives "Small Texas Town". I understand that there was a level of suspense, drama, and mystery that was necessary to get Ellie to (Spoiler Alert) Finn, but I was waiting for a town devastating tornado. That is like the only plot twist that didn’t happen to poor Ellie.
In case you need a quick rundown of issues that faced dear Ellie and her friends here are a few:
The casual use of the “F” word among other curse words
Sex and foreplay (mostly dealing with virginity)
For me, none of these things bothered me at all, but they might bother you. They may also make you think twice before letting your teen read this book. I understand that the target audience for this particular story is 17-34, but some mamas out there may not want their 17 year old reading this knowing what kind of “adult” issues are discussed.
In the end the best part of this story is the one between Ellie and Finn. The build up, the heartache, the attempt to find their places as individuals and then in a relationship were familiar and relatable . They faced many trials as a couple but those felt organic. Their developing relationship was well written. This was my favorite part of the book.
For all the trials that Ellie faced, I did like her as a character. She didn't always express her anger and disappointment as I may had at that age, but she was a strong character. Good student, tried to remain responsible, and even when she was contemplating making a decision based on her guy, she was still level headed about it. I was disappointed that there was never an adult character in her life that panned out or developed into an ally. I get that sometimes that happens in a teens life, and that may be the reason the book ends like it does (don’t worry, no one dies). Still, I would have liked to have seen one adult (her boss perhaps) step up and mentor her in a way I feel she desperately needed.
This was a quick and easy read and honestly most teens will love it because of the drama. I’m sure 16 or 17 year old me would have loved this book.
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