Review: Life Unaware by Cole Gibsen

Life Unaware by Cole Gibsen

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Publisher: Entangled Format: Digital Galley Source: Received through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review Rating:  (2/5 Stars) Synopsis: 

On the surface, seventeen-year-old Reagan Fray appears to have everything. She’s popular, Ivy League–bound, and her parents are rich enough to buy her whatever she wants. Behind the scenes, Reagan is a girl with an anxiety disorder struggling to hold the fraying threads of her life together. It takes work to stay on top, and when that fails, Reagan’s learned from her politician mother that a little social espionage never hurts. That is, until the day Reagan finds all of her texts and private messages printed out and taped to every locker in her high school.

Finding herself ostracized from her friends and on the receiving end of the bullying she used to dish out, Reagan won’t settle into her new role as social pariah without a fight. Determined to get back in with her friends and reclaim her social status before her mother finds out and sends her to boarding school, Reagan has no choice but to team up with outcast Nolan Letner.

But the closer Reagan gets to Nolan, the more she realizes all of her actions have consequences, and her future might be the biggest casualty of all.

I had really hoped that this book would be an in-depth look at bullying, friendship and the extreme stress of trying to be perfect and popular in high school. While Life Unaware tried to be that book, it didn’t quite succeed. What it was instead, was a pretty good redemption story.

This book started off slow and on slightly shaky ground. Reagan at the very beginning seemed a bit whiny and way too self-involved. I hate to say this, but I didn’t feel sorry for her at all. The narration made it sound like she was using her anxiety disorder as a ‘justified’ excuse to be horrible to people. When everyone at school started hating her it almost felt deserved.

Over the book she did get much better. Her character development seemed to go a bit too fast at first, but at least I started to like her.

Another thing that felt rushed was the romance, which didn’t sit well with me at all. The guy was being a total jerk to her and then he does one nice thing and she starts to fall in love with him. (He also kind of wouldn’t leave her alone sometimes…)

The parts of this book I did like were the funny and cute parts around the middle, which actually managed to be funny and cute. I also really liked Reagan’s best friend Payton. Plus, the ending was good, and not wrapped up much more neatly than is realistic, which is something I’ve seen in a lot of contemporaries.

Life Unaware will be released on April 28th, 2015.