Author: Stacy Kramer & Valerie Thomas
Publication Date: May 15, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
KYLIE: Mexico? What a nightmare! I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY! Wait! Is this a wedding band on my finger??
MAX: It started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics and it ended in Ensenada. It was hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we're stranded here, with less than twenty-four hours before graduation.
WILL: Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation. Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job. And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agreed to bring their passports across the border but there's no reason to rush back home right away. This party is just getting started.
LILY: This cannot be happening. It's like some cruel joke. Or a bad dream. I close my eyes and when I reopen them, they're still there. Max and Kylie Flores, freak of the century. In bed together. If Kylie thinks I'm giving him up without a fight, she's dead wrong.
Oh. My. Gawd. This book was bad. So bad that I couldn't even finish it, making it my first official DNF of the year. I can tolerate a lot when it comes to books, but this book pushed my limits. I was actually buddy reading this with my younger sister. It seemed perfect for us, like it was meant to be or something. We'd been at Half Price Books and they had a paperback copy for $2 and I had a finished copy already, and the book was on my Summer TBR pile -- had been on my shelf for ages -- so we thought we'd read it together, hoping it was as funny and charming as it sounded.
Nope. It was just full of stereotypes and insane situations and it was just plain awful. We kept trying to like it, to connect with the story, but it was just impossible. When I asked Mendy how she'd review the book she said, "Um, well, it was gay, and so were the characters." Now, I know that's not PC, but at least three characters in the book actually were gay, so it's a fair assessment, I think.
Considering the insanity that bled forth from the pages of this novel, I find is highly suspect that the story itself was so unbelievably predictable. Everything my sister and I anticipated happening came to pass. We stopped at the halfway point in this book, and even then we continued to entertain thoughts of what might occur in the latter half of the book, and much to our chagrin, we were pretty spot-on. I won't list examples here in case you still have plans to read this nonsense, but suffice it to say, if you envision it happening in this story, it probably will. Is the book able to read the reader's mind? Or is it just that badly written? As awesome as the first possibility is, I'm not inclined to believe that's the case here.
Initially, I had wanted to check out this novel because the main character sounded a lot like me in high school: intelligent, introverted, hot-tempered, and a little bit weird. And Kylie is those things, but in the worst way. I hated her voice, how she treated people, how she continued to make terrible decisions. Ugh, and the movie quotes. That aspect can be fun when done right, but it was just so annoying in this book, whether the quotes were being spoken sporadically throughout the text or were the precursor to each chapter. They just felt forced and not at all entertaining. The same goes for all of the pop culture references. I mean, there was a mention of browsing in a Circuit City before they went under. That company's been gone from Texas for over a decade at least, and even the store that took over the old building it was in has since gone under and a new business has moved in. I think this mention was to make the story feel relevant and real, but none of these pop culture references worked for me. I realize that contemporary novels have a harder time standing the test of time, not dating themselves, but the mentions of brands and stores was just in overabundance in this one.
The novel as a whole -- or at least what we read of it -- was just off-putting and there are just so many other books to spend time with. I think too much time was spent getting the reader and the characters to the point that they're supposed to be at in the synopsis, and I just couldn't be bothered to care how it all came to fruition any longer. Especially once Mendy perused the last few chapters and told me that we would have been pissed had we kept reading to the end, only to discover that everything went down just as we'd guessed.
GIF it to me straight:
About the authors:
Karma Bites is a first novel by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas. Kramer is a comedy writer, whose television credits include "Lizzie McGuire" and "Less Than Perfect." She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Karma Bites is a first novel by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas. Valerie Thomas is a screenwriter and producer, and has overseen such films as "Adaptation" and "Philadelphia." She lives in New Jersey.
Website | Twitter | Goodreads