“Take a Peek” book reviews are short and (possibly) sweet, keeping the commentary brief and providing a little peek at what the book’s about and what I thought.
My name is Caitlin and up until forty-eight hours ago I had never:
Tasted alcohol, kissed a boy, sang in public at the top of my lungs, kidnapped anyone or—WHAT? STOLEN A CONVERTIBLE?
Now I’m in jail and I have no idea what I’m going to tell:
The police, my parents, the mayor, all of those camera crews and everyone on Twitter.
I have just noticed that:
My nose is pierced and I have—WAIT? IS THAT A TATTOO?
I blame one person for this entire insane weekend:
My famous cousin.
Who is also my former best friend.
Who I have HATED for the past four years.
Who I miss like crazy. NO I DON’T!!!!
IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT, HELLER HARRIGAN!!!!
Be prepared to giggle, snort, and perhaps even LOL. It’s All Your Fault is a quirky, silly story of opposites exploding… and then giving each other exactly what they need.
Main character Caitlin is the very definition of a goody-two-shoes: homeschooled, impeccably dressed in polyester blazer and white knee socks, and part of her family’s musical act, the Singing Singleberries. Caitlin is a good Christian girl who eats wholesome food, never swears, drinks or smokes, and yet has crippling anxiety attacks that stop her in her tracks.
Caitlin has been estranged from her cousin Heller, her previous best friend, for the past four years, during which Heller has become one of the top teen stars in America. Heller starred for years in the kid TV show Anna Banana, playing a simple small town girl with a secret identity as a supermodel. (Hello, Hannah Montana!) Now Heller is about to become a major movie star, as the first movie based on the epic Angel Wars book trilogy is about to premiere… but Heller needs to stay clean, sober, and out of trouble long enough to make it through the publicity juggernaut required to launch the movie.
To say that Caitlin (who Heller sneeringly refers to as K-Bop) and Heller are like oil and water is an understatement:
“K-Bop’s parents are named Calvin and Carol and they have eight hundred children who all have names starting with C, like Cucumber and Cockatoo and Colostomy…”
“I only have eight brothers and sisters and my parents like the letter C because it stands for Caring, Cooperation and our Creator.”
But it’s Caitlin to the rescue! Caitlin is recruited to be glued to Heller’s side for the premiere weekend, to keep her in line, keep her from generating any more bad press, and to make sure the screaming Angel Wars fans have the time of their lives, putting to bed all the nasty gossip about Heller’s bad habits and making sure her movie career moves forward without a hitch. Of course, Caitlin is convinced that she’s there to save Heller’s soul, but hey, how hard could it be?
What follows is a comedy of capers and pranks, as Caitlin’s good intents collide with Heller’s need for mischief — and ultimately, both girls know that sooner or later they’ll have to face up to the events of four years earlier that drove a wedge between them and kept them separated ever since.
Along the way, there are crazy fans, daring escapes, a raid on a cupcake factory, and silly scenes galore, such as Caitlin trying to convince a table full of Hollywood teen stars to drink wholesome glasses of milk or Caitlin teaching Heller to substitute the names of New Jersey towns every time she has the urge to swear.
“You’re at one of your filthy nightclubs, or at a degenerate Hollywood party. Someone approaches you and offers you an illegal substance. What do you say?”
Heller thought about this, furrowing her brow.
“Go Teaneck yourself, you Dunellen piece of motherfucking Mount Kittatinny!”
The book pokes gentle fun at crazy, obsessive fandom, the YA trilogies that dominate books and movies today, and their almighty influence over the entire world, not just the entertainment industry. (There’s even a judge whose three daughters are named Katniss, Bella, and Hermione.)
It’s All Your Fault is a girl-power delight of wild adventure, personality clashes, and Hollywood backstage shenanigans. Heller and Caitlin are fun, well-developed characters who break out of their molds and display real humor and strength that go beyond their one-dimensional outer appearance. This is a light, silly, sometimes hilarious read, very quick and enjoyable, and is sure to make fans of teen movie and book franchises giggle in recognition.
Note: For more by this author, check out my review of Gorgeous.
Title: It’s All Your Fault
Author: Paul Rudnick
Publication date: January 26, 2016
Length: 294 pages
Genre: Young adult fiction