All About Daisy, by O'Dell Hutchison
Published: February 3, 2011
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Provided by author for honest review
Series: Daisy Brown #1
High school is NOT for sissies...I hate writing negative reviews, I really do. And unfortunately, I have a feeling this one will be mostly negative. While it was a fun read, I had some serious issues with it, and not addressing them would mean I wasn't being honest in my review.
Fourteen-year-old Daisy barely made it through middle school. After three years of being constantly taunted and bullied, she's decided it's time for a change. It all begins with a list of things she feels she needs: a best friend, popularity, a boyfriend, a first kiss, a spot on the cheerleading squad, and most importantly, boobs. With list in hand, Daisy just knows she will make a huge splash at Glenmark High, and her days of being miserable will be over.
The splash she makes isn't exactly what she was going for, and after a disastrous first day, she is ready to throw in the towel. It only takes a chance meeting with sophomore Russel Bryan, her grade school crush, to change everything. Soon, Daisy finds herself hanging out with the popular girls, preparing to try out for a spot on the cheerleading squad and looking forward to the homecoming dance.
Just when things start to look up for her, a betrayal by a new friend shatters everything she had hoped for. With her reputation on the line and the threat of a family secret being revealed, Daisy decides to take things into her own hands. It may not be her destiny to be popular, but she is done being taken advantage of.
Part "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret" and part "Mean Girls", "All About Daisy" is a hilarious and touching coming of age story that will have you cheering for the underdog.
I found the protagonist to be a fun character. She doesn't give up, regardless of all that is thrown at her, and I admired that strength. But at the same time, she was incredibly naive and gullible, and it had me rolling my eyes far too often.
I was thoroughly enjoying All About Daisy in the beginning, but problems arose and it wasn't difficult to pinpoint two major issues I had with the book.
My biggest issue with this book is the similarities between it and Mean Girls. All the cattiness, a Halloween party, all over a guy, a certain girl gets hit by a car. Too many similarities for me to ignore, specifically someone getting his by a car. It made it difficult to enjoy from that point on.
Another is the bullying. And not only the obvious bullying, but the bullying that wasn't addressed. Terms like "fag", "homo", "black-ass bitch", "retard"....I realize kids in the real world say things like this. It is a problem. Unfortunately, I don't feel like this book did anything to show that it was a problem. It felt more like it was just, life. And maybe it is. But it was difficult to swallow.
Despite all of this, I wanted to keep reading, and I wanted to find out how it all ended. Overall, I liked the story in All About Daisy, but I had a difficult time enjoying it due to the issues I mentioned. It just wasn't the book for me, but I would recommend it to anyone who likes to see the underdog protagonist grow and kick some mean girl ass. (Figuratively speaking, of course.)