Sunday, 3 May 2015

Blog Tour: Life Unaware by Cole Gibsen

Life Unaware
Release Date: 04/28/15
Entangled Teen

Book Summary:
Regan Flay has been talking about you. 

Regan Flay is on the cusp of achieving her control-freak mother's "plan" for high school success―cheerleading, student council, the Honor Society—until her life gets turned horribly, horribly upside down. Every bitchy text. Every bitchy email. Every lie, manipulation, and insult she's ever said have been printed out and taped to all the lockers in school. 

Now Regan has gone from popular princess to total pariah. 
The only person who even speaks to her is her former best friend's hot but socially miscreant brother, Nolan Letner. Nolan thinks he knows what Regan's going through, but what nobody knows is that Regan isn't really Little Miss Perfect. In fact, she's barely holding it together under her mom's pressure. But the consequences of Regan's fall from grace are only just beginning. Once the chain reaction starts, no one will remain untouched... 

Especially Regan Flay.

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About the Author
Cole Gibsen first realized she different when, in high school, she was still reading comic books while the other girls were reading fashion magazines.

It was her love of superheroes that first inspired her to pick up a pen. Her favorite things to write about are ordinary girls who find themselves in extraordinary situations.

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My Review

At first glance I was thinking that this book was going to be like Mean Girls: The After Story. This idea both intrigued me and put me off because when things are too alike it gets boring. However, I could see that was not the case even from the summary. And let's face it, even if it was, every 80s and 90s kid loved that movie so it wouldn't have been so tragic.

Regan is everything I worry about for teenagers in privileged lifestyles. She's smart, pretty and yet that's not enough for an over-bearing parent. She must be perfect. And in order to do this she has to be constantly criticised. Regan is aware of this and comments about how messed up the whole thing is yet she continues to feel pressured into doing it.

From the start it is obvious that Regan has anxiety attacks, takes medication for them, sees a therapist and yet her mother ignores this, makes her more anxious and picks on every little thing. I have seen this in more than one story where the parent makes the child feel that any attacks they have is like the child is blaming the parent. Really it's probably that blame and worry that causes them. Vicious circle.

Anyway I'll get down off my soapbox and stop hating on those types of parents. They frustrate me so much that even if I would usually hate the main character, I am suddenly completely on their side.

I like seeing the side of the bully rather than constantly seeing the victim but this story gave us both perspectives through Regan's eyes as she turned from one to the other. I felt sorry for her from the beginning because of her home life and I constantly wanted to throttle someone (not always sure whom: maybe society?).

It has taken me this long to talk about Nolan -that shows how important the other points were. Nolan is adorable. From his first entrance I just thought "Yeah, that guy is going to be fun to read.". I always think that in these types of situations the popular-turned-pariah should learn what it's like to not care what anyone thinks and how stress-free that life is. Nolan is that person to show you. 

I saw a review where someone mentioned that they thought teenagers should have to read this book but I believe that adults should. Any parent who is pressuring their child should have to sit down and see what they're doing (though some still probably wouldn't change). 

One small issue was that I sometimes got a bit lost in Regan's inner monologue. It just felt like some things were being said in the wrong places.

Overall? Good book. I would recommend it and hope you take the time to read it.


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