Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials: A Book Review

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Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials

Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman

Summary: Charlotte “Charlie” Healy just wants a freshman year without drama. But, being a teenager, that’s likely not going to be the case. After enduring three years of mean girls, Charlie switched over to a different high school, hoping to escape her past. But, just in the first week of school, Charlie bumps into Will, her childhood friend. She and Will haven’t kept in touch lately, so it was a complete surprise to Charlie to see him. Things are awkward at first, but they quickly get used to each other’s company. Along with her new friends Sydney, Nidhi, and Michael, Charlie might not be the lonely loser she expected to be. However, she becomes concerned for Will when she hears about all of the things that the lacrosse team does. Deemed as traditions, these activities could put Will in danger. After years of being a follower, Charlie hopes to become a leader. But how?

My Thoughts: *A few spoilers below! Hmmm, I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about this book. At one point, it was slow and no fun to read, but at the other, I couldn’t stop and had to finish it! Let’s start with the characters. Charlie was a bit boring. She had no “real” personality, and I didn’t feel that I knew her too well. Her actions weren’t consistent, and I don’t really know if the author knew where she was going with Charlie. I did like how she grew to become a leader and someone who spoke her mind. Perhaps it was the newspaper job that gave her some confidence? I thought the chapter when she went home with her brother was really sweet. That moment kind of changed my opinion about her. From that point on, I thought she became more developed, but it was more than 3/4 through the book! Despite the lackluster main character, the secondary characters were superb! :) Nidhi and Sydney are hands down the best best friends ever. Really. I loved them as characters so much. I did think that Nidhi was too quick to forgive Charlie, {who knows? she could have betrayed you again.} but I was quick to overlook that fact because of how awesome she was :) Sydney was super cool, and I absolutely adored her confidence. I know Charlie said she went too far when she yelled at Tyler, but he wasn’t going to stop, now was he? Speaking of which, Tyler was disgusting. Ugh. It makes me so sad to know that there are actually people like him out there. I mean, you practically kill someone, and you just drive away!? What’s up with that?! All of his little lacrosse buddies were jerks as well. Except Will. I forgave him after that last part when he talked to Charlie. They are so cute together by the way! Michael was perhaps the best MALE character in the book, with Luke, Charlie’s older brother, being a close second. One thing that I would change was how obvious it was who was “good” and who was “bad.” You could tell right way that Michael was going to be nice, and that Tyler was going to be trouble. I don’t know, it made it less entertaining for me to read. Last few characters I have to mention are Ms. Fieldston and Ms. McBride. Ms. Fieldston spoke with lots of exclamation! points! and was suspiciously too cheery. I was very angry with her when she did nothing after what Charlie told her. You don’t let Tyler get away with that, even if it’s the principal’s son. And, that’s why I like Ms. McBride :) Finally, I thought the big hazing incident mentioned on the back cover was told way too late in the story. There only 60 page left out of a 276 page book! I think that’s all I needed to say…

Pros: Lovely and entertaining secondary characters and the ending was well-written. If the problems were fixed, I think it would make a great movie.

Cons: The first 2/3 of the story were slow and the main character needed more development.

Heads Up: Language, romance, and a few hazing incidents. I have to say though, it’s all incredibly realistic.

Overall: I give it 4 stars {****} and I recommend it for ages 13 and up.

Bella :)

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