[Review] Frenemy of the People, by Nora Olsen

[Review] Frenemy of the People, by Nora Olsen

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Frenemy of the People by Nora Olsen
Published by Bold Strokes Books Inc. on May 1st, 2014
Genres: LGBT+, Young Adult
Source: Netgalley
The verdict: two-half-stars
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Told from the alternating viewpoints of Clarissa and Lexie, this story is about two girls who are each other's opposites. But despite their initial dislike for one another, opposites attract... In the mean time they have to deal with their life as teenagers.

I’m torn over this book. I didn’t absolutely hate it but it wasn’t spectacular.

My main issue with this book is that I was missing a lot of depth. Beginning with Clarissa’s realisation she’s bisexual, which happened within the first few pages. This was a rather simplistic “I like boys and girls, I am bisexual!” type of realisation… literally. Her coming out, her setting up the GSA. It was all rather hurried, no background, nothing. Same with Lexie, a vegan punk lesbian. Give me background! And then apparently the two girls have known each other for years and. That’s it. We never find out more.

Which is sad, because honestly. Despite being rather stereotypical, both Lexie and Clarissa COULD BE surprisingly likeable, believable characters with believable problems. Could be. But now they are just stereotypical and nothing more (and it’s making a lot of people cringe…).

So it’s all the more sad that many of the more serious topics raised in the book only seem to scratch the surface and the plot was weak. The coming out/sexuality bit was too simplistic, same with the foreclosure.

The simplicity is what makes it a light hearted novel I suppose, a nice quick read. It didn’t blow me away, yet I still wanted to keep reading. At the same time I feel there are so many YA+LGBT books out there that make me feel this way, but still manage to treat serious topics with a bit more depth. This book had so much potential but for me didn’t live up to it…

Anyway, no, I don’t love it but I definitely don’t hate it! If you enjoy YA+LGBT, and perhaps need a break from all the heavy books, it doesn’t hurt reading this.


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