Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Formal by Kate Harmon (48HBC)

The Formal is the third book in the Sorority 101 series by Kate Harmon. (Not sure if this too is written by Marley Gibson. I know for a fact the first two are, but who can tell?) I've been trying to find this for a while now because I enjoyed the first two well enough. I like reading FUN!, whimsical type books every once in a while, which is why I chose this for my third 48 Hour Book Challenge book.

Jenna and Tiger are having trouble moving forward with their relationship. When it's unveiled Tiger has had previous experience in that department--I'm sure you know which one I'm talking about--Jenna can't get it out of her head. What if the other girl is better than her? What if he's still in love with her?

Roni and Lance hit a rough patch when Roni becomes too involved in ZZT's Formal, since all the planning's been dumped on her by an older and stressed-out-by-the-LSATs sorority sister. He can't understand how important being part of a family like ZZT is important to Roni ("Shouldn't you be channeling all this energy into your schoolwork and our relationship?"), which obviously rubs Roni the wrong way.

Lora-Leigh and DeShawn are casual as ever, but they're definitely making progress in the relationship territory. Until DeShawn decides to go to the NFL drafts and whatever they have - however special - doesn't have good survival odds. She gets into FIT but struggles with the decision of going or not when the weight of what she's leaving behind--her sorority, her best friends, and the entire LU life.

This one's more focused on the romantic relationship of the girls than the sorority itself, as was with the previous two books (and what you'd expect with the series title like it is). You don't necessarily need to read the previous ones to understand this, because there's some rehashing here and there. Truthfully, I don't remember a whole lot about them so I can't say if the references to events in the predecessors gets overbearing or not, but it was a nice crutch to go on.

There's not a lot to be said about this third installment. I paid $4 for it at The Strand and spent 3ish hours reading it and it kept me entertained while I babysat my crying-her-lungs-out niece. Everything's a little too obvious (not to mistaken with predictable. It's that too, but obvious is more how I'd describe it) and the characters are getting a little too blushy-blush for my tastes, but hey. More than anything, I'm getting tired of the super happily-ever-afters. After 250 pages of angst and commotion in the problematic relationships, you would think a simple gesture wouldn't fix everything.

What I mean is, it's readable and pretty fun if you're into this sort of thing (which I am), but not the most impressive addition to this already not-exactly-stellar series. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone whose tastes don't correlate exactly with mine or anyone who's looking for something different. The first book was decidedly better, though.

I told myself I'd only spend 10 minutes writing this so I could get back to reading, and I've gone two minutes over, so I'm signing off. ;)

5 comments:

the wanderer said...

Cute books like this are always fun once in a while when you need a break from reality or heavy drama, but usually pretty forgettable afterwards. Have you read the Sarah Dessen book from BEA yet?

Miss Cindy said...

it sounds like a nice read :)

Leah:) said...

ohmigod. steph, are you seriously posting full reviews for every book you read? i only did it for one . . . haha. the rest are all 4-8 sentences

Diana Peterfreund said...

I am pretty sure Marley did NOT write this one. At least, it sounds nothing like her plans for the characters! And she's been pretty busy with her new series.

Marley Gibson said...

Thanks to Diana, who is correct. I did NOT write THE FORMAL. I had a much different plot line with twists, turns, and some deeper issues the characters were going to be facing, but I ended up not writing any more of the Kate Harmon books because of my new GHOST HUNTRESS series.

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