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Can You Still Feel The Butterflies?

Against her better judgement, Meghan gets swept off her feet by Denise Deegan's And By the Way and And for Your Information (Butterfly Books 1 and 2).

Can You Still Feel The Butterflies?

BOOK REPORT for And By the Way and And for Your Information (Butterfly Books 1 and 2) by Denise Deegan

Cover Story: Brown. Bag. IT.
BFF Charm: Dammit! Yes, Ok?
Swoonworthy Scale: 7 With a Double-Shot of SHAME
Talky Talk: Like, A One-Two Punch?
Bonus Factors: Dublin, Private School
Relationship Status: Secret Boyfriend

Cover Story: Brown. Bag. IT.

YOU GUYS. WHAT. I could make a book cover out of US Weekly and look more intellectual than these covers. Besides, they're boooooring and say nothing except the books are about blond girls who don't know how to brush their hair! I guess that does make them look like real teenagers, though. I didn't know how to use a hairbrush, either (still don't -- that's why it's 2 inches long now).

The Deal:

Alex, Sarah and Rachel have been BFFs since their first year at Strandbrook Academy, THE school for the kids of Dublin's rich and famous. Alex's dad is a famous rock star, and since her mom died six months ago, it's like he's living on a different planet and her mother never existed. Her friends mean well, but they just don't understand -- the only person who might understand is the hot American student, David, whose mom died a few months before Alex's. But Alex can't let herself trust anyone, even if he's a hot surfer and sailor who can help her move on.

By the second book, Sarah's in real trouble. She's not rich like her friends, her parents have split up, her brother's the worst kind of player, her boyfriend's an ass and only uses her for sex, and her mom's a raging bitch. So (natch), she starts shoplifting, except she totally sucks at it and gets caught right away. Sentenced to community service at an assisted living home, she meets Shane and her life starts to change.

BFF Charm: Dammit! Yes, Ok?

UGH THESE GIRLS. I did NOT want to give them my BFF charm. Hell, I wouldn't have even lent them a pen in class. I was willing to cut Alex some slack since her mom just died and that is an unimaginable world of suck. I get how being angry is easier than being sad -- it's my go-to coping mechanism. But she's such. a. spoiled. bitch, and all she wants to do is shop. And Sarah? For the life of me, I could NOT figure out why Alex and Rachel were friends with her -- she's gossipy and self-absorbed and whiny and rude and insensitive. But somehow, someway, they won me over. Totally. They're actually really great once you get to know them, I swear! They're loyal and kind and just teenagers, so it's understandable they're carrying around tons of angst. Really, they're sweet if you just give them a chance. Don't judge me!

Swoonworthy Scale: 7 With a Double-Shot of SHAME

It's hard to talk about a book and its sequel without giving away the whole plot, but let it be known there is panty melting. The shame comes from letting myself get caught up in the triangles and the tragedy and my husband coming downstairs last night to find me sobbing and snotting like I haven't since the end of the second Traveling Pants book, and the WHY for said snotfest. I DO NOT LET MYSELF GET ROMANCED LIKE THAT. The adult in me spent the second book trying desperately to drown out my inner teenager's squeals of excitement, saying things like, "She's too young! This is NOT a good idea! It never works out like that unless you're filthy rich, and even then it rarely does. Don't you EVER watch reality TV? Don't you know what's in store?" Of course my inner teenager just rolled her eyes and kept sighing and swooning like Marianne Dashwood. The shame.

Talky Talk: Like, A One-Two Punch?

It took me ages to get into the first book because it seemed to resolve into a happily ever after less than halfway through. I was all, "Ok, now what? This is going to be boring now." But boy, was I wrong. The hits, THEY JUST KEEP COMING. It was pretty hard reading Alex and Sarah's inner monologues? You know? How they're, like, about shopping? And stuff? But before I knew it, I was being seduced into this Dublin version of The O.C. and the question marks just disappeared.

Bonus Factor: Dublin

The coolest thing about the setting, besides it being Dublin (these books capped off a 4 or 5-book Dublin binge that started with Tana French's murder squad and ended with Skippy Dies) is it's, like, real Dublin? You know, written by someone who lives there for people who live there and not translated for American audiences, or featuring an American girl who goes to study abroad in Ireland to find her (so insignificant they might be non-existent) Irish roots.

Bonus Factor: Private School

Man, I wish I could have gone to a private school like this one. They have this thing called a Transition Year, where they just goof off and take sailing lessons and have chats in class about feelings and learn to cook, instead of studying calculus and The Scarlet Letter. I want a Transition Year!

Casting Call:

Bono as Alex's dad

C'mon, an Irish rockstar who dyes his hair and wears sunglasses indoors and wedges and is kind of a tool, but basically a decent guy? Who did you expect?

Amanda Bynes as Sarah

Even though she's American, I can definitely see Amanda Bynes as Sarah. Anyone have a good Irish suggestion?

Kaya Scodelario as Alex

And for an even bigger sin (I know she's English, OK? I'M SORRY!):

Relationship Status: Secret Boyfriend

Y'all, I probably would never admit it (hello, internet!), but these books and I have been hooking up for a while now. We don't go out in public because I don't want anyone to know about us, but I can't get enough of them when we're alone, and they're number one on my booty call speed dial. They're so not my type, and I'm totally ashamed for loving them when I think about some of the things they've done, but I. just. can't. help. myself.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from Hachette Ireland. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). The Butterfly novels are available now.

Meghan Miller's photo About the Author: Meghan is an erstwhile librarian in exile from Texas and writer for Forever Young Adult. She loves books, cooking and homey things like knitting and vintage cocktails. Although she’s around books all the time, she doesn’t get to read as much as she’d like.