Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You ~ Lily Anderson (earc) review [@ms_lilyanderson @StMartinsPress]

The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You
St Martin's Griffin
May 17, 2016
352 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West--and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing--down to number four.

Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben's, including give up sleep and comic books--well, maybe not comic books--but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it's time to declare a champion once and for all.

The war is Trixie's for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben's best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben's cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. [Hiding the last sentence because it's spoilery]
The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You seemed to provide good evidence that wanting to read a book because Doctor Who and Whedon are mentioned in the description, the cover's awesome is more than good enough.

While it is true that you don't have to like Doctor Who or Buffy or Veronica Mars or Marvel (or DC) or Battlestar Galactica or any of the fandoms mentioned /referenced, you are definitely going to enjoy it if you do. (There's a character who doesn't get the other characters' references, so you won't be alone. You should watch, read them, though because they're good!)

and I really hope it's this kind of hair
Aside from being a book that can give us David Tennant's Doctor-y hair, Buffy references, Veronica Mars love (and remind me I wanted to read Saga), is an superb story. I didn't realize until after I'd finished it just how much I appreciated how the story unfolded and how true to the main character, Trixie, it was.

When her two best friends decide they want to have boyfriends, it's not something Trixie is ready to go along with. Not only does she not think that her love of comic books and sci-fi makes her, "like a twelve-year-old boy," (pg 18) no one would want to date, she wants to focus on her grades, graduating and going to college.

That's why I loved that, though there is a romantic storyline and it is a focal point, it's not absolutely front and center. There is still the friendship between Trixie, Meg and Harper; there's everyone's stress over grades and rank; an academic scandal and how it impacts everyone; and her friends possible romances.

Something romantic doesn't become all of Trixie's life and focus so I loved how that was reflected in the book.

The other, major thing I loved was how things changed between Ben and Trixie. You knew from the beginning - even without the book description - that something would happen between them. Their arguing and sniping, however, is not faux-dislike-that's-actually-flirting. There were a few instances where they seemed genuinely mean to each other and I worried how it would transform into something more amiable without seeming fake. That how was great and really fit the characters while letting readers be okay with the change, too.

(The school for geniuses aspect and all it entailed was a lot of fun, as well.)

Because how can I not?

received for review form publisher, via NetGalley

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