"Review My Books" review by Becca @ Pivot Book Reviews
by Corey Ann Haydu
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (May 13, 2014)
Goodreads | Amazon
Secret: I kissed someone else's boyfriend.
Assignment: Do it again.
Like most who find Life by Committee, Tabitha is a little lost. Her best friend has ditched her, her Vermont town is feeling way too small, and she's falling head over heels for a guy named Joe—who already has a girlfriend. Just when Tab is afraid she'll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she discovers 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 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? Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Jennifer E. Smith, Life by Committee is a fresh, vibrant novel about the power of wanting, the messiness of friendship, and the truths we hide and share.
First off, I want to send Andye a HUGE thank you for having me here on Reading Teen! Second, if you like my review be sure to check out more on my blog, Pivot Book Reviews!
Tabitha is the type of girl who used to have all the friends in the world, until she was thrust out of her group of friends the moment she became prettier. The only person she has to talk to about the things going on in her life seems to be Joe, who also happens to be Sasha Cotton’s boyfriend. Yet Tabitha is falling in love with Joe. Tab has no one to spill this secret to, and just when she’s about to, she finds Life by Committee - an online group where you tell a secret, receive an assignment, and complete your assignment to keep your secrets safe.
Life by Committee was great read. I had a hard time putting it down, and found myself stealing snippets of the next pages every chance I got. Tabitha was a character whom I immediately loved, because of her love of books, but she doesn’t just love any book. She loves previously owned books, in which the owner has written their thoughts in the margins of the pages. My inner bibliophile is cringing at the thought of someone writing in their book, but this was such a cool idea. It had me itching to find a marked-up copy one day. It’s actually one of those marked-up books that leads Tab to the group, Life by Committee.
The users of Life by Committee are pretty much the only friends that Tab has, besides Elise, who is her lesbian best friend, Cate and Paul, her hippie parents, and Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend. Tab and Joe end up kissing, and Tab can’t possibly tell Elise about it, because it’s cheating. However, she can post about it on LBC, without being judged, but posting that secret comes with a cost, and with every secret Tab posts, the cost just gets bigger and bigger.
I really didn’t see the swoonability of Joe. Truthfully, I just thought he was a jerk who kept leading Tab on. I did love Elise. I wish we would’ve gotten more page time with her, but Tab basically shuts everyone out after discovering LBC. Tabitha’s parents, Cate and Paul, were pretty cool too, until they started fighting all the time, which I totally understand, because Paul is a stoner. Yeah, Tabitha’s DAD is a straight-up stoner. While I didn’t like this part of the story, it ended up being a good secret to post on the site. I also didn't really like the reason why Tab was 'rejected' from her friends. In my opinion, it was slut-shaming. I felt like there should've been a different reason for her being thrust out of her group of friends other than the fact that she started noticing boys.
Another part of Life by Committee that I loved was seeing other member’s secrets and the subsequent discussion in chat form. I think that’s part of the reason I was so addicted to this book. Although, I couldn’t help but noticing that the ending was sort of reminiscent of the ending of Mean Girls, which I mean, it worked, but I didn’t really want to read it all, because it’s been done before with the movie. All in all, I really enjoyed Life by Committee, despite the heavy cussing and drug use, and I think if you’re looking for a quick scandalous read, then you should definitely pick it up!
-Becca @ Pivot Book Reviews