Saturday, May 18, 2013

Review: It's a Mall World After All - Janette Rallison

It's a Mall World After All
Janette Rallison
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult, Teen, Romance
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Cute and Light
On Goodreads

I got this as a Kindle daily deal, and, to be completely honest, I'm pretty sure the major sell point with this for me was the allusion to the Small World rides at Disney parks (I'm just a sucker for A Small World). When I began reading this, I wasn't quite sure if I would like it. The story starts with Charlotte working at a perfume stand in Bloomingdales, musing about what she's learned at the mall. This sets up the major conflict of the story - Charlotte's best friend's boyfriend is at the mall with another girl.

Let's start with Charlotte. Charlotte struggles with holding grudges and generally trusting people. I found myself conflicted about whether I was annoyed that she was holding grudges or annoyed that she considered forgiving the person who did such things to her (I guess I learned something from this book...). Despite her general judgy-ness, she's very sarcastic and sometimes funny, but, sadly, some of the humor was lost on me. There were points where I wanted to laugh because I could tell it was an attempt at humor, but it just wasn't that funny. I felt bad because I make jokes that no one laughs at all the time, so I kind of empathized. Don't get me wrong, there were many humorous points throughout the story, just fewer than intended.

Then there's Charlotte's love interest - Colton. Oh, what is there to say about Colton... He starts off as a super arrogant know-it-all. He's able to one-up Charlotte in almost every way possible, which, of course, drives her crazy. Basically he's awesome because he's smart, strong, gorgeous, and insightful. However, there were many points in the story where, if I was Charlotte, I probably would have slapped him across his handsome face while yelling obscenities regarding his always thinking he's right. I guess I just get angry easily.

Of course, we cannot forget the best friend, Brianna, and her boyfriend, Bryant. To be honest, their relationship kind of made me sick. Brianna is one of those girls who gives up her whole life for her boyfriend. I really don't understand why girls feel the need to give up everyone else who was ever important to them just for some guy. She even tells Charlotte not to make her choose. Like, I'm sorry, what did you just say to me? And then Bryant with his superior attitude. Ew.

There are also some semi-interesting minor characters, including Kelly, Wesley, and Candice. Kelly is so desperate for Wesley to ask her out that she has Charlotte stalking him, which presents some really funny situations throughout the book with Wesley's extreme awkwardness. Candice is a rich snob and her dialogue with Charlotte is pretty hilarious.

Besides the romantic aspect of this story, there was also Charlotte as a philanthropist. One day, Charlotte is approached by two boys whose families don't have a lot of money. From here, Charlotte convinces Colton to organize a gift giving event for some children like the two she met at the mall. Charlotte's concern for the children and giving nature was charming and heartwarming, especially at the final event. Also, there is the greater lesson regarding grudges. In middle school, Charlotte was tormented by her classmates with an assortment of bug jokes - jokes that she couldn't seem to let go of. Through her growing relationship with Colton, Charlotte learns about people changing and growing up as well as how to forgive people.

Overall, I found this book to be charming. Going into it, I wasn't looking for anything deep or dramatic, and I got exactly what I wanted: a quick, fun, easy read, which ended up having a greater message about generosity and forgiveness. It was not the most well written book I've ever read, but I found I could look past that and still enjoy the story.

- Kiersten

Do you think it's ever justified to hold a grudge?
Let us know in the comments!

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