Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Lisa Yee
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine
Higgs Boson Bing graduates high school in five days. In that time, he plans on winning the Student of the Year award, having fun with his girlfriend Roo during graduation festivities, and packing for Harvard. But apparently the universe has it out for Higgs and wants to see him fail. Roo breaks up with him because of some insignificant (to him) hypothetical situation, his name is slandered throughout the school, and Harvard receives an anonymous tip that Higgs lied on his application. Everything comes crashing down and Higgs doesn't know what to do. He meets an enigmatic girl named Monarch, who shows him how to have fun and shrug off the expectations that have been layered on him since his brother's death. But nothing ever lasts, and in the end, Higgs has to decide for himself what he wants to do with the rest of his life.
This book is predictable and very melodramatic. The dialogue is not natural-sounding and is written in a very amateur way. The characters aren't very likeable - Higgs earns some sympathy because his life is not the greatest, but he still deserves a lot of what happens to him. Monarch is the pinnacle of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl and seems to have no other purpose than to confuse Higgs and lead him into a web of lies that she creates. The ending is unsatisfying for many reasons, mostly because it resolves some major plot points too quickly and obviously and leaves other, more interesting plot points untouched. The book has a sort of mystery-feel to it, but the perpetrators are obvious and Higgs apparently figures it out instantaneously. Overall, this book is too poorly written to be enjoyable, though there are a few rare moments of nice sentiment.
*Contains severe language, moderate sexual content, and moderate violence.