How To Be Bad is a road trip book (yay, road trips!) and is the story of three girls, who seemingly have very little in common, and yet decide to embark on a road trip to see one of their boyfriends who is away at university.
One of the things I really liked was that although the whole point of the road trip was to go and see Vicks’ boyfriend, romance didn’t overpower the plot. It was much more about the three girls, about their hopes and fears and aspirations and the way the three of them interacted with each other. The three girls all work at the Waffle House in Niceville, Florida (not a part of the world that you see a lot of books set in) and while they don’t initially have much in common (although Vicks and Jesse used to be friends, they’ve grown apart) their friendship grows and strengthens over the course of the novel.
The book was really well paced and kept me entertained throughout. Sometimes road trip books fall down a bit because there’s not enough going on in a car between two people to sustain a plot. Luckily, this wasn’t the case here. The girls encounter a hurricane, crash a house party and go to Disney, so there was plenty going on.
The three characters were so totally different and I think that’s another thing that made this novel really work for me. You could easily distinguish the three different voices of the authors in the characters they wrote. I especially liked Vicks, who was super cool and didn’t take crap from anybody. Mel was very sweet too, but I wasn’t as keen on Jesse. Wow, she really liked wearing her judgey-pants. There was not a single thing the other two girls did that she didn’t see fit to comment negatively on, in a *gasp* ‘What would God think??’ way. She was incredibly moralising, and while I think it’s fine for characters to have strong religious beliefs, I think it works better if, just as in real life, they’re not a dick about it.
I really liked other books by EE Lockhart and Sarah Mlyonowski, so I was really excited to read this one. I definitely delivered and while it didn’t have the bite or tension that some of their other books had, it was still definitely worth reading.