Published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 13th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
Some secrets are too good to keep.
Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat.
Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.
Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.
Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.
But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?
~ I really found the whole concept of this book both cool and unique.
~ The book starts out with a secret. I love secrets. If I were a wizard in Harry Potterverse I would totally want to be your secret keeper. I love knowing the secrets behind people, I just think it makes everyone that much more interesting- unless you’re secretly a perv. Then I want you in jail and I won’t keep your secret.
~ I loved Tabitha pretty instantly. She’s an outcast at school, she has almost zero friends, and she loves books. She hardcore loves books. She not only loves to “active read”, writing notes in the margins of her books like she’s having a conversation with them, she seeks out books that have other people’s notes. My friend Courtney of Abducted By Books reads like that, and I just find it charming, although it’s hard for me to write in new books (well used books? Not so bothered by that).
~ Although I hate cheaters, it’s hard not to find Tabitha and Joe cute. Mostly Tabitha, who’s on that roller coaster of love- the highs, the super lows. I just don’t trust guys who mess around on their girlfriends, especially when it seems Joe is still very much into his girlfriend, Sasha Cotton.
~ Tabitha’s family owns a coffeehouse called Tea Cozy and I immediately want to live there. Inside the coffee shop.
~ Because her parents had her at 16, they’re almost more like older siblings. Tab’s mom is kind of buckling down, determined to be a better family for the new baby.
~ I hate Jemma and Alison so much, especially since they continue to make themselves at home at the coffeehouse. Although there’s a part that made me laugh, out loud for real, when Tabitha mentions that Jemma and Alison’s weapons are “basically silence and backstabbing”. Jemma is particularly unhappy with the way Tabitha dresses, and feels she’s well within her rights to give her advice.
~ It’s as if no one wants Tabitha to be both hot and nerdy… but isn’t that the very definition of us book bloggers? 😉
~ Elise, Tabitha’s only friend, doesn’t dress too sexy, but apparently her being a lesbian is of concern to Jemma. I know there’s a lot of history with Jemma, but I really just want Tabitha to go all Carrie on her ass.
~ This book will make you want to re-read The Secret Garden and The Little Princess, marking up your own copies, just so you know.
~ Tabitha finds the website where she shares the secret of her and Joe inked inside a copy of The Secret Garden- a used book that has notes from someone Tabitha feels very sympatico with.
~ I know we’re supposed to hate Sasha Cotton, and trust me there’s plenty to hate, but I actually really liked her poem Underwater Joe… I’m with Elise on this one. Sorry, Tabitha.
~ Sasha’s poem has Tabitha fleeing to the website, which is the Life By Committee group.
~ The Life By Committee group is an interesting one. It’s all anonymous, everyone’s pic is just them from the knees down (I found this charming). The rules of the board are that you share a secret a week, then everyone will chime in with what they think should be your next step in life, although it’s Zed (who runs the site) who ultimately decides on your next action. Which you must complete within 24 hours.
~ Some of the group offer up different forms of evidence, but all are careful to keep anonymous. I really loved reading everyone’s secrets and their assignments. Although I thought the 24 hour time limit to be a bit harsh.
~ As Tabitha gets more involved in the site, everything around her seems to be changing- from her parents, to her relationship with Elise, to her feelings for Joe, and then there’s Jemma’s scrumptious brother hanging around the coffee shop on occasion.
~ Completing the Committee’s assignments are kind of like a drug for Tabitha. But what happens when you give up control of your life, your decisions, to other people?
~ The ending of this book was very Mean Girls- but in a good way. I can honestly say that I adored this one, even though I hated the cheating aspect, I understood Tabitha and how she could end up involved with Joe.
Tabitha- after losing all her friends and finding herself the secret gal pal of Joe, Tab takes to the internet to bear her soul.
Joe- the object of Tabitha’s affections, even though he already has a girlfriend.
Sasha Cotton- Joe’s girlfriend- she’s kind of awesome and everything you are not.
Cate- Tabitha’s pregnant, trying not to be so flaky anymore mom.
Paul- Tabitha’s stoner dad.
Jemma- Tabitha’s former bff, whom dumped Tab the moment Tab grew boobs and a butt.
Alison- Jemma’s current bff, all too happy to have taken on Tabitha’s role.
Elise- currently Tabitha’s only friend at school.
Devon- Jemma’s older brother, who may or may not have the hots for his little sister’s ex-bff Tabitha.
There are lots of wonderful and wonderfully awful moments in this book, but the one that had me most stressed out was when Tabitha almost has a panic attack over a Life By Committee assignment deadline and damages her friendship with Elise.
I also really liked Sasha Cotton’s poem. It’s kind of sexy. 😉
Stop the Clock:
I fully enjoyed this one, midnighters. I liked these characters, I liked their problems, and I liked how Tabitha grew in the novel. The only complaint? Would have loved to see even more.
Life By Committee gets a Midnight Book rating of: