Review: ‘The Way to Game the Walk of Shame’ by Jenn P. Nguyen

The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. NguyenSuper-seriously academic girl (known at school as the “Ice Queen”) wakes up to find herself in the bed of a boy known for his many sexual exploits. After suffering through everyone’s schadenfreude the following week, she decides that the only way that she can stop the gossip and possible ruination of her reputation (she’s trying to get into Columbia, for corn’s sake!) is to make a deal with said man ho: pretend that they are dating. After a bit, there will be a painless breakup. Balance will be restored to the world. The end.

And though Taylor’s not at all interested in Evan (and they have nothing in common!), can someone please explain why she likes hanging out with him so much? As for Evan, is there more to him that meets the eye – or the rumor mill? Can plans devised by smart girls sometimes go sideways?

While the initial predicament sounds fun, there’s not a lot of new info as the story goes on. Boy and girl are opposites; girl is driven, boy is not; both have hidden fears; they meet cute, which forces them to interact when they normally wouldn’t have; both have to step out of their comfort zones and they find that they may be OK with that. On the periphery are secondary characters who are either pushing them toward each other or pulling them apart. Plus Evan seems to think thoughts that girls wish boys would think, except for this one: “Was it her time of the month or something?” Clunk.

Taylor is also that character type that presents herself one way, but then you read something that doesn’t jibe with her depiction of herself. It’s an old theme, but for me, particularly frustrating when it is about something unimportant. I’m sorry, but I can’t imagine Taylor ever leaving school to go and get her nails done. Nope. Basically, the book is OK; it’s not deep enough to be a serious read and the main character is not likeable enough to be a light read.

Lastly (and this may only bother me), but I’ve noticed recently that when writers want to show the seriousness/veracity of a statement (especially with a male teen-aged character) they use the word “hell,” like: “Hell, I was usually the one to start bragging…” It is a little overused here, both in this manner as well as the regular, “what the hell” kind of way, appearing over 50 times in the novel. What the hell, indeed.

The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen will be published June 7, 2016 by Swoon Reads. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to NetGalley, the Publisher and the Author.

Rating: 3

Genre: Young Adult Fiction Contemporary Romance
Ages: 13 and up

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