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? (from Goodreads)
Source: eARC from Edelweiss/Katherine Tegan Books for review purposes (thanks!) I’d also like to thank Estelle @ Rather Be Reading for recommending this book.
Secret: I kind of wish Life By Committee was real.
Tabby, sixteen years old, only has one friend since her other friends dumped her after Tabby became cuter than they are and they decided that she was turning into one of “those girls.” But that’s okay, because she also has Joe, who, yes, has a girlfriend who isn’t Tabby, but she’s in love and one day Joe will get up the nerve to dump fragile, moody Sasha Cotton. (I love how, pretty much throughout the book, she is referred to by her whole name.)
Then Tabby stumbles upon an interesting website, Life By Committee, that helps people to make big changes in their lives. The way it works is that you create an anonymous identity then you offer a secret. The other people on the site discuss what is going on with you and eventually you are given an assignment to complete related to the secret and you have 24 hours to complete it in order to keep your secret safe. It turns out that Tabby has more secrets than just her illicit love for Joe. Life By Committee takes the decisions out of her hands and lets her be a bystander in her own life, but it also offers Tabby an outlet because she cannot really discuss her issues with those around her because she is terrified of being judged.
Tabby becomes obsessed with LBC and the people who frequent it, like Star, who was given an assignment to fly across country to see the guy she might be in love with. LBC becomes a way for her to escape the reality of her life. The author makes you like this girl despite the fact that she might be stealing someone’s boyfriend because of the way her old friends treat her, her cringe-worthy love and relationship with Joe, and her crazy, wonderful (immature) parents. This book was beautifully written and, as a sometimes writer, made me jealous.
Tabby may be a little hard for people to like, but I see her as someone who is surviving despite the way people are judging her and trying to live her life without compromising who she really is. Yes, she’s made mistakes, but that’s to be expected of teenagers and people in general. People kept judging her and her actions, but it’s really more their perception of her that she’s fighting because do people really know other people or do they assume and make judgments without proof? Well, we all know the answer to that, especially teenagers who can be jealous and petty. I cannot say enough about this well-written, beautiful story and I’m so glad I picked it up. Do yourself a favor and read this book. If anything, it might cause you to reserve judgment of others by reminding you that we all have a difficult road to travel.
Some notes I wrote while reading:
“The way this author phrases things makes me giddy.”
“Letting someone decide what you should do in your life without any context of what those decisions could affect is not advisable.” –to which I’d like to add, “duh.”
“I wish I had time to active read.”
“I would love to do LBC.” –to which I’d add “for a little while, but not as a lifestyle.”
“Everyone is constantly labeling her.”
“She is looking for a way to crawl out of her loneliness that losing her uber judgmental friends has made her feel, LBC seems to see her and not judge and respond to her in a way that the other people in her real life do not.”