YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: August 6th 2009
Buy it from: Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Silver star (3/5 stars)

Synopsis: When Emily Carson’s parents die in a plane crash, she’s left with nothing but her mother’s last words scrawled in lipstick on a tray table: “Emily, please forgive me.”

Now it’s fall and Emily moves to New York City— where she attracts the attention of two very different boys: the cute, popular Owen, and her quirky chemistry partner, Anthony. With the help of some surprising new friends, Emily must choose between the boy who helps her forget and the one who encourages her to remember, and ultimately heal.

Debut author Jennifer Jabaley has written a wonderful, feel-good romantic comedy with real emotional depth. Full of lovably wacky characters, Lipstick Apology is a heartwarming story about the true meaning of forgiveness.

Lipstick Apology sadly did not live up to my expectations. When I read the first line in the prologue, it really annoyed me.

Steve McCaffity just undressed me with his eyes.

Okay, maybe I’m still clothed, but we definitely made eye contact. Well, actually, he might have only glanced at the tiny chocolate stain on my V-neck — so it was noticable.

Why do I feel like there is so much going on in these three sentences? The writing seemed clunky to me, it didn’t flow smoothly. On the topic of Jabaley’s writing, I was really annoyed to see the excess use of capital letters. I know sometimes it’s good to use capital letters to emphasize a point but too much gets on my nerves. Everytime someone shouts, it’s capital letters. Wah??

Here are two examples of sentences which I felt the capital letters were totally unessasary.

Lindsey vigorously shook her head, agreeing with me. “No you HAVE to go.” (page 186)

“I wasn’t intending to get drunk. You KNOW I don’t drink.” (page 196)

I really wanted to love this book but there were too many problems with it. Another big problem was that Jabaley did a lot of “telling” and very little “showing”. The writing could have been so much better if Jabaley trusted her readers to figure out what was going on and not tell them.

Emily’s mood swings annoyed me. Yes I know it’s hard to deal with the death but it was so frustrating. She seemed to accept her parents’ death calmly. There weren’t many scenes of her grieving. Too many PMS-ing moments. Emily character was too dramatic and I had a hard time relating to her.

The other characters were like any other typical high school novels. You know, rich preppy superficial girls, self-centered high school jocks, the geeky girl etc. I truly liked Anthony, he was sweet but still cliché. Her aunt Jolie’s occupation was unique and I thought it was really cool having an aunt who has her own makeup line. Jolie’s character was quite likable compared to the other adult, Trent who is a hairdresser. Trent in the beginning was over perky and I felt as though he was over caffeinated. But as I went deeper into the book, he became more thoughtful.

Other than the above mentioned problems, I just love the setting of the book, it’s NEW YORK CITY people. My number one dream destination. The setting was nicely described. But did you know that most YA books are set in NYC? Justine Larbalestier did a post Too Many Books About NYC? I felt for Lipstick Apology, the setting was right for the book. I am pretty sure if you had a successful makeup line you’d be living in NYC and not in other states.

Oh and the synopsis totally spoiled the romance for me. It’s so easy to figure out who Emily will end up with at the end. Honestly, if I wanted a predictable romance plot, I would go with Elizabeth Scott’s Something Maybe. Though Something Maybe was also predictable, Scott did it better.

Lipstick Apology was a nice book to pass time but not one of those books that I definitely recommend.

Check out other reviews of Lipstick Apology: Books By Their Cover, Addicted to Literature, That Chick That Reads, Harmony Book Reviews, Presenting Lenore.


Comments on: "Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley" (2)

  1. I have (or had) high expectations for this also…it’s been on my TBR list ever since it was released and I always thought the plot looked really good, + I loved the cover and the title. It’s a shame you didn’t enjoy it :[

  2. I am only half way this book and i cant put the book down!

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