Saturday, February 15, 2014

Review: Life, Love, and Surviving High School by Ann Herrick

Becca secretly lusts after Brent, Claire's boyfriend--then Claire makes Becca an offer about Brent that she can't resist.

Becca's in high school, but she hasn't been on the same page as her best friends since just before the start of middle school and she doesn't know exactly how things got so different. Not different in some edgy, gritty, she's-a-rebel way. More of a Yes-she's-a-dork way. Which makes it all the more amazing that while other friendships have crashed and burned all around them the four of girls have managed to stay Best Friends Forever. She doesn't need to share in her friends' spotlight. Becca's happy to follow along in the shadows, as long as she's not totally cast aside.

She's definitely not ready for guys. In fact, she just wants to skip right over high school and jump straight to twenty-two. By then she figures she will have gotten through her first date, first kiss, passed her driver's test, taken the SATs, filled out all those college applications, somehow survived living in a dorm and gotten her college degree without all the anxiety and drama.

Instead, just after silently deciding to not even think about guys and concentrate on school work for the next four years, she is instantly mesmerized by Brent, a seriously great-looking senior who also happens to have a long-time girlfriend, Claire. Not one to be the "other woman," Becca imagines creative ways for Claire to be out of Brent's life.

Meanwhile, Becca forms a strictly friends-only relationship with Colt. Becca and Colt turn out be good partners when it comes to studying, taking pictures for the school newspaper and working on a term paper together. But when one day Claire makes an offer about Brent that Becca can't resist, that changes everything.
My Rating: 3.5
My Review
It has been too long since I've read a lighthearted teenage romance and Life, Love, and Surviving High School did not disappoint. I had read It's All in Your Mind before, and fell in love with it, so I had high hopes for this novel. Luckily, I loved it all the same.

Becca is a wonderful character that easily can connect to the reader. She's funny, quirky, and witty. Even when she doesn't make decisions I'd agree upon, they are realistic for the character and work well with the story. I think just about anyone can relate to the struggle of wanting to fit in, or even feeling left behind, especially in the age of just starting high school. I felt like a freshman all over again, with her distinct voice playing in my head.

The relationships between characters are very true to life, which really allows for the reader to feel like part of the story. Too many books focus on the romance and don't pay enough attention to the great friendships - which are likely to be more lasting anyway. In Life, Love, and Surviving High School, this isn't the case. Of course, the girls get distracted by their love interests and hopeful conquests (they're fourteen), but when it comes down to it, their friendship is important and lasting. Even Randi, who didn't seem to connect as much with Becca initially, had one of the best relationships with her in the end.

My favorite thing about Life, Love, and Surviving High School had to be the characters. I loved the characterization, it was absolutely fantastic. They all had unique personalities that they stayed true to, which lead to believable and entertaining figures. Even the more minor characters - like Becca's parents - had great moments that allowed them to be some of my favorite characters. Then, of course, there's Colt. (I still can't think of many things he can't do. Where are all these teenage boys who love to read in reality? Hiding underground?)

Although it is a quick read, Life, Love, and Surviving High School is entertaining and fun. Laughing and smiling half the time, I couldn't put it down until I reached the final page. I highly recommend rekindling with your inner teenage girl and getting a copy as soon as you can.


  1. Hi Ann,
    Congratulations on the nice review.



  2. Ann makes great character creations--thanks to Justine for picking up on this! Congratulations on another good review to Ann!

    1. Thank you, Juliet! And thanks to Justine for reading and reviewing!

  3. I've only read the blurb so far but oh my, it sounds exactly how a teenager would think. I don't know how you do it Ann but you certainly channel the young adult in you. Good luck with the book.