Review: Life By Committee Corey Ann Haydu

Life By Committee
Corey Ann Haydu
Series: None
Released: May 13th, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating: 2.5 stars
Word Rating: Eeh. Whatever.
Reviewed by: Mel

Add to Goodreads

Some secrets are too good to keep.

Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat.

Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.

Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.

Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.

But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?

Eh. That is probably the best way to sum up my feelings towards Life By Committee. This was actually one of my most highly anticipated novels from Harper, but hopes can only go so far before reality kicks it in the butt. I felt rather apathetic towards Corey Ann Haydu's latest novel, and most of the nit-picks I had all led back to my thoughts on the characters.

So lemme talk about the characters first, since that's the case. I didn't care for them. Not Tabitha, Elise, Devon, Joe, Cate, Sasha etc. Sure, they had distinguishable personalities and traits such as being a cheater, stoner, caring best friend, considerate ex-best friend's brother, but them and I didn't click. I found Tabitha to be painfully blind to the reality that is around her, many issues just didn't seem realistic. Take trusting and letting strangers guide your life online for example--who in their right mind?
ASSIGNMENT: Weed. Your dad's weed. Tell the counsellor at your school. Show the evidence.
I mean, these online people (the people at Life By Committee) already torn the family into shatters and now they want to make it worse by getting more people involved. Would you listen? Looks like naïve young Tabby would. I get that you want the main character to learn a lesson or two in the end, but this just was not the ideal lesson to learn when 10 year olds already know this stuff.
Did you hear Bitty's [Tabitha's] post? Her parents? We, like, destroyed a family.

Another problem I had with Life By Committee was the relationships. I did find the family dynamic to be highly exceptional but the friendship and romance was not pleasing at all. Tabitha used to be friends with Jemma and some-chick-whose-name-I-forgot-already but apparently she was dumped because she was too hot/pretty. Like honestly, implausible, much. The romance was not better, if not worse. There was no chemistry between Tabitha and Joe but Tabitha would occasionally say: "We're soul mates." (I'm paraphrasing here.) It's like she was trying to convince her, not us. I mean, Joe's just there for the hot body! He's got a girlfriend, for god's sake.
Hey Tabby,
So, that was weird. Today.
Weird good.
Weird hot.
You're hot.
Crap. What are we doing?
- Joe
Oh, I dunno. Maybe cheating on your girlfriend that you love by leading on a hot girl who you only have platonic feelings for.

Mainly, I felt like there was too much convincing us things by telling as opposed to showing it. The author says things such as: "Elise is a good friend." "We're soul mates" "I have feelings for Joe" "We're in love" but we never have it actually shown/acted out. It's like were expected to just believe all this because the characters in the book say so.

Overall, I felt indifferent towards Life By Committee and struggled as I had quite a lot of suspension of disbelief moments. The characters, story idea, relationships and logic just couldn't click with me.


  1. I also found that this book did not live up to my expectations. It just seemed a little to contrived and unrealistic. Though, I'm a jaded adult, so many I just don't remember the naive dramas of high school well enough?!

  2. Hmm... sounds like an interesting approach on teens' drama but if the issues didn't seem realistic, I could see why you weren't feeling the connection with the characters. Thanks for sharing.

  3. With such a great title I expected more I have to admit. ~Sheri


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on my blog!