Sunday, April 19, 2020

Book Review: "The Best Laid Plans" by Cameron Lund

When you live in a small town and go to high school with the same people you’ve known since kindergarten, everyone knows your business. So it’s public knowledge among most of her classmates that Keely may very well be the last virgin in the senior class.

There’s nothing wrong with her; it’s just all of the guys she knows treat her like she’s one of them. Even her best friend Andrew, whom she’s known since birth, treats her like she’s not really a member of the opposite sex, and they feel comfortable talking about girls and everything in front of her.

Keely doesn’t want to go to college a virgin but when she sees how another classmate is treated when she loses her virginity to one of the school’s more popular guys, she starts to wonder: why is it okay for guys—even Andrew—to be with girl after girl, but when a girl sleeps with a guy she’s a slut? Why would her parents be fine if she slept with Andrew, but not with someone else?

So when a sexy, college-aged coworker who looks like James Dean (his name is even Dean) and likes movies as much as she does expresses interest in her, Keely realizes he’s what he needs to help her with her, umm, problem.

But is he? Is sex with Dean the answer, or is there someone else she’d rather be with?

The Best Laid Plans was cute but it just didn’t click for me. The characters were all just so mean to each other and manipulative (even though most behavior was justifiable) so they weren’t tremendously appealing. (That's not saying their behavior wasn't authentic, just irritating.) The book’s conclusion is sweet although obvious from the start, but that’s okay.

The book is thought-provoking in its conversations about the double standards around sexual behavior for men and women, particularly high school students. I just wish it had a little more heart throughout.

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