Title: Kill All Happies
Author: Rachel Cohn
Genre: YA contemporary
Release Date: May 2nd, 2017
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Received ARC from publisher for honest review
My rating: 5 stars
Last Call at Happies! Tonight, 8 P.M. Senior Class Only! Please with the Shhhh….
This is it. Graduation. And Vic Navarro is throwing the most epic party Rancho Soldado has ever seen. She’s going to pull off the most memorable good-bye ever for her best friends, give Happies—the kitschy restaurant that is her desert town’s claim to fame—a proper send-off into bankruptcy, and oh yes, hook up with her delicious crush, Jake Zavala-Kim. She only needs to keep the whole thing a secret so that her archnemesis, Miss Ann Thrope, Rancho Soldado’s nightmare Town Councilwoman and high school Economics teacher, doesn’t get Vic tossed in jail.
With the music thumping, alcohol flowing, bodies mashing, and Thrope nowhere to be seen, Vic’s party is a raging success. That is, until Happies fans start arriving in droves to say good-bye, and storm the deserted theme park behind the restaurant. Suddenly what was a small graduation bash is more like Coachella on steroids with a side of RASmatazz pie. The night is so not going as planned. And maybe that’s the best plan of all.
So, once again, I have read a contemporary YA book that really blew me away! This was such a funny book! A very quick read, but one that was hard to put down, so that could be why it was such a quick read. The characters were all so unique. That even though they may have started out seeming to be stereotypical, you soon found out that no one was exactly as they seemed. And in a way that is kind of the lesson. In a story that takes place at a time when teens are starting to figure out who they are, learning that someone you thought you knew well isn't who you thought they were comes as a really big eye-opener in more ways than one. From Vic's best friends, the Cuddle Huddle girls: Fletch and Slick, who may not be exactly who Vic's always had them pegged as, to her own brother, as well as her friend's brothers, everyone has a bit of a secret up their sleeve, or a side of themselves that Vic either hasn't seen, or has chosen not to see.
It was fun to have the added chaos that came from all the fans of the restaurant, the Happies, showing up at the graduation party and making it spill over from the closed down diner into the amusement park behind it. I like that while some of the issues between characters were settled or figured out in the end, not all came to happily ever after conclusions, which really seems more realistic.
My only problem with the book is one that probably really marks me as the square that I have always been, and that has to do with alcohol and drugs. I'm not so blind as to realize that teens don't drink, and that there isn't use of marijuana or other drugs among them either. For the most part I don't feel it was glamorized in the story, just that it was a part in what was probably a realistic manner, especially for this generation, and for teens in a small, failing town. I feel that there were definitely some of the consequences from those things shown in the story, so that was also a plus for helping me with that aspect of the story.
As I said before, a quick, fun read, definitely another hit by the author of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. And just like that book, I could totally see this as a fun teen movie!