Title: The Naughty List
Author: Suzanne Young
Published: February 2010 by Razorbill
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Tags: YA | Girls | Romance | Series (Book One)
Includes: Profanity, Sexual Content
First Lines: Sigh. A padlock? Who padlocked their gates in this neighborhood? This was Brinkerhoff Point - one of the nicest areas in the entire state of Washington!
Tessa Crimson is a perky head cheerleader by day, and a spy by night. She's the leader of the SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens) who spy on guys who are thought to be cheating on their girlfriends. No one at school knows who's in the SOS, it's very secretive. So the cheerleaders can't tell anyone they're in charge of it. Tessa's been happily dating the star basketball player, Aiden, for two years. But lately, with all of her mysterious absences (going on SOS missions), they're relationship has been strained. Especially when Chloe, the new girl, arrives and is determined to get Aiden for herself. Suddenly, when Aiden's name turns up on the naughty list, Tessa doesn't know how to react or what to do. Could her boyfriend of two years really be cheating on her, too?
This was a unique and creative book; I mean, a secretive cheerleading group designed for catching cheaters? You don't read about that every day! However, even though the book was fun and comical, it lacked a lot of substance. It was light on the surface, and didn't dig any deeper than that. I craved more character development, and to get to know the cheerleader spies better. Tessa's character was a little strange to me. Even though it was great that she looked down on profanity, and corrected her friends' language whenever they cussed, she used the weirdest expressions throughout the book. Such as "Franks and beans!", "Good gravy!", and "Jolly green giant!". These odd sayings were so distracting, being included on almost every page, and made Tessa sound like a ridiculous drama queen about everything. Also, the author sometimes used strange vocabulary or puns to make the book funny - but it ended up just sounding out of place.
From Page 35
I swirled to face him. I was pretty sure my bloomers flashed because his grin became a full-on smile. Was he trying to ruffle my pom-poms?
I liked Aiden, but found myself getting frustrated with his relationship with Tessa. They never talked through their arguments, but instead just depended on sex to be close to each other. Their relationship was mostly physical, which isn't healthy. However, Aiden was really good to her and treated Tessa sweetly. Chloe, and her brother, Christian, were developed wonderfully. The author did a great job at making me despise them. Christian was icky, practically stalking Tessa and showing up everywhere, and gave me the creeps. Every time he was alone with Tessa and tried to make a move on her, I'd start yelling at the book for him to go away.
I really liked reading about the SOS's missions, they were so determined to catch those lying cheaters! Between chapters are "Cheater Incident Reports" which were fun to read. I also liked how serious the girls were at their job, they had heavy-duty surveillance equipment to get physical evidence of the guys cheating.
From Page 141
I found the night scope for my camera and snapped it on. It didn't take me long to find the figures in the dark room. Through the slats in the blinds I aimed my camera at the bed. I swallowed down the metallic taste in my mouth. My stomach turned with anxiety.
This was a good chick-lit book, I enjoyed it for the most part. It's a light read and doesn't go too in depth unfortunately, but it was still fun and flirty. The second half of the book was much better than the first part; and the climax was great. I was satisfied with the ending, and am ready to read the sequel. Hopefully there will be more character development and I'll grow to love Tessa and Aiden as a couple.
Cover Thoughts: It's cute and girly; fits the book nicely. It sets up the mood of the book.