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This Book Is Sofa King Awesome

Keek's life undergoes a summer of disarray in And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky.

This Book Is Sofa King Awesome

BOOK REPORT for And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky

Cover Story: Super Stylin'
BFF Charm: Totes McGotes
Swoonworthy Scale: 7
Talky Talky: Straight Up Charming
Bonus Factors: Only Child, Sofa King, Kickass Gram, Nail Polish Names
Relationship Status: LYLAS

Cover Story: Super Stylin'

HOW ADORABLE IS THIS COVER, YOU GUYS? I want to frame it and sell it on Etsy. Sure, it's slightly twee, but the design is totally related to the story, and the colors are fabulous, and carrying it around makes me feel like Zooey Deschanel.

The Deal:

Karina (Keek for short) has 99 problems, and a bitch is most certainly one. Not only did her best friend hook up with her dad in the walk-in freezer of the family restaurant, but her hottie wrestler boyfriend, Matt, really wants to have sex with her, and Keek feels simultaneously excited and freaked out by the idea of losing her virginity. She might have talked with her mom about it, but then her aunt had a premature baby, and Keek's mom flew out to help. And just when things couldn't get more heinous, Keek got the chicken pox. At the age of 15. Which means she's really sick and itchy and confined to a bed at her grandmother's house, where the only thing to do (besides scratch and feel sorry for herself) is write out her thoughts with an old typewriter. Through the haze of fever, Keek uses her favorite book, The Bell Jar, for an emotional map as she journeys through the heartbreak of her parents' divorce, her love and lust for Matt and her confusion about, well, everything.

BFF Charm: Totes McGotes

Keek! The Keekinator! Keek-orama! Girl, we were DESTINED by the gods of awesome to be besties. I would say we're almost the same person, except you are much cooler than I was at the age of 15, which is why you have a hot boyfriend, and I did not. You're hilarious and fun and weird and just the right amount of self-absorbed to be a realistic teenager without being super annoying. I love the way your sense of humor combines with your whimsical nature and produces lines like, "Up until then we'd only been able to make out on park benches like French people." I like you so much, I would overcome my germphobe nature (Which is SEVERE, btw. I saw the trailer for Contagion last night and proceeded to rub an entire bottle's worth of anti-bacterial gel all over my body.) and visit you in your sick bed. I'd bring lots of nail polish and soup and you could talk to me about anything-- your fears about sex, your anger towards your dad, that dress you wish you'd bought at the last garage sale, ANYTHING. And I would hug you-- ok, I'd probably just pat your arm, because, you know, germs-- and tell you that you're way more fabulous than Sylvia Plath. Because you SO ARE.

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

Let's just say that if I had been Keek, I probably would've lost my virginity to Matt on our second (ok, maybe first) date. The boy is a fine nugget of flesh. And since Keek is writing only for herself, she doesn't spare any details in describing all of Matt's smokin' hot features, from his muscular frame to his adorable charm to the fact that he cooks dinner for his family once a week. THAT'S RIGHT, HE COOKS DINNER. FOR HIS FAMILY. Because he needs to melt panties off. The make-out scenes between Keek and Matt are tender and real and ON FIRE, and those moments left my head spinning almost as much as Keek's.

Talky Talky: Straight Up Charming

If you took Angela Chase's insight and Anne Shirley's imagination and Frankie Banks' burgeoning feminism and Janis Ian's sass, you would have the voice of Keek. It's like Arlaina Tibensky read this site and created a style of writing based solely on our favorite books. Now, I don't want to set your expectations THAT high, because there's a few weak moments, including my arch nemesis, Poetry (although it's definitely not bad enough to make me pull a Fred Savage). And the beginning of the book, when Keek's mind is laced with high fever, is a little whoah, because did you not just read what I wrote, she has a FEVER. But overall, the tone of the book is incredibly engaging, and there were SO MANY passages that totally made me laugh and fist pump and nod excessively, all at the same time, because DOUBLE. TRUE. Here's an example:

I know, I know. I'm always going on about wanting my space, and now that I have space, I want to be surrounded by people and streamers and bossa nova music like the host of a 1950s cocktail party of Plathian proportions. I want to be having a fabulous time, twirling my drink's umbrella between my thumb and forefinger, dozens of people hanging on my every word, asking me how I feel. And caring, deeply, what the answer is.

Bonus Factor: Only Child

You could say that part of Keek's awesomeness stems from the fact that she's an only child. You might think I'm saying that because I'm an only child. Aaaaand you would be be right. P.S. My parents once had t-shirts designed that said "Sarah's Mom" and "Sarah's Dad" on the back. Oh yes they did.

Bonus Factor: Sofa King

At first, I wondered why Keek's writing was peppered with the phrase "sofa king." Then I said it out loud and really fast. And then I loved Keek even more.

Bonus Factor: Kickass Gram

Keek's grandmother isn't a typical candidate for our award, since she's not brash or strong-willed or full of life lessons. She is, however, quietly amazing, and the tiny things she does for Keek are brimming with a sweetness that made me miss my own grandmothers terribly. There's a moment involving a bath that is one of the most pure displays of love that I've ever encountered in a book. Oh yeah, and she watches Judge Judy every day. HOLLA.

Bonus Factor: Nail Polish Names

When I was in 8th grade, I found a Revlon nail polish called "The Toast of New York," and I wore it all of the time, because it made me feel like the sophisticated city girl I wanted to be. Never mind that it was a terrible shade of mauve. The point is, nail polish names are the poetry of our time, and this book totally understands that.

Casting Call:

Ashley Rickards as Keek

Ashley plays a (pretty) dork on MTV's Awkward, and I think she'd put the right amount of quirk into Keek.

Matt Lauria as Matt

Matt's muscular physique and insane sweetness made me think of another Matt, but at this point, he's a bit too old to play the role. I'm open to ideas! Bring on the hotness!

Relationship Status: LYLAS

Unlike most of the girls I went to high school with, when I use the acronym LYLAS, I MEAN IT. This book and I aren't just bosom friends or kindred spirits, we're like sisters. Because we love each other, even when one of us starts over-thinking things or references The Bell Jar three times in one page. And I think you know I'm not talking about myself, because I've never read The Bell Jar (sorry!). But that didn't stop me from totally getting this book, and our times together are both rewarding and incredibly fun. We can go from having heart-to-hearts on human nature and relationships to giggling uncontrollably over how weird penises really look. This book and I would totally become blood sisters if it weren't for that fact that swapping blood is super gross and incredibly unhygienic.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a review copy from FinePrint.I received neither moneynor cocktails for this review (damnit!). And Then Things Fall Apart is available now.

Posh Deluxe's photo About the Author: Sarah lives in Austin, TX, where she programs films at the Alamo Drafthouse. Sarah enjoys fancy cocktails, dance parties and anything that sparkles (except vampires).