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Title: The Guys are Props Club
Author: Ingrid Seymour
Release Date: May 13, 2013
THOUGHTS:During her senior year in high school, Maddie Burch promised herself not to ever fall for a cute guy – or any guy – again. Cute guys are players and not to be trusted, a fact she learned the hard way when her first boyfriend ran her heart through a paper shredder. Two years later, her promise is still intact, and she’s determined to make it through college without falling victim to another creep. She has her job, school and The Guys Are Props Club to keep her mind and hormones in check.
The club was founded by Jessica, Maddie’s best friend. It is a sisterhood of girls who have fallen prey to heartless jerks and who have vowed to turn the tables. Once a semester, Jessica requires members to “do onto others as they’ve done unto you.” Setting the example, Jessica’s next play is Sebastian Capello, a theater major with heartthrob looks and a flair for Latin dance, whose heart she plans to break the way hers was once broken.
What the friends don’t know is that Sebastian is different. Despite his perfect looks and popularity, he’s not a jerk. He doesn’t play games to get his way. Instead, he keeps it real and goes after what he wants with honest intentions. And what he wants is not a bombshell like Jessica, but a down-to-earth girl like Maddie – even if it causes a riff in the girl’s friendship. Even if it means getting Maddie to break her personal vow.
If I were to be completely honest, this is not a type of book that I would usually read. Sure, I still consider the NA genre one of my favorites, but after reading my fair share of NA novels with games, bets, and clubs, paired with no decent plot whatsoever, I can't help but choose to ignore most novels that event mention one of the aforementioned words. I can handle cliche storylines, sure, but they have to make some sense! So yes, I've become akin to judging books by their blurbs and cover even though I advocate to others that they shouldn't. But hey I'm only human, and I feel really bad for initially doing that to this said novel. If it weren't for one of my trusted fellow bloggers (Hey Dianne!) convincing me to give The Guys are Props Club a shot, I probably wouldn't, and I would have missed out on an entertaining read.
I found this novel to be a quick read. While I can't say with a hundred percent conviction that I was able to relate to Maddie's character through and through, I was able to sympathize with how she found it difficult to stand up to Jessica. While it was adamant that Jessica's scheming and plotting to give boys a taste of their own medicine was getting out of hand (and Maddie herself wanted out of the club and all the games), I do understand why Maddie couldn't just leave Jessica to fend for herself. When Maddie was at her lowest, it was Jessica who gave her all the support she needed, and that's not something that Maddie can easily forget. I'm sure that that sense of loyalty is something that most readers can find familiar.
What sets this book apart from others of its kind is that the male OC, Sebastian, is your quintessential nice guy. Confident - even a bit cocky, yes - but he's not event the slightest bit alike the tattooed bad boys that are a dime a dozen in the New Adult genre. I may like my fair share of bad boys (come on.. who doesn't?) but reading about them all the time can get a bit tiring. Characters like Sebastian allow a breathe of fresh air in this genre that is now full of formulaic plots and storylines. I can't help but admire how he never rushed Maddie to do something that she's in no way ready to do, and how he always respected her decisions. I loved how Seymour was able to make Sebastian attractive without resorting to the bad boy prototype!
The plot pacing was pretty good, and it allowed for character development, especially in Maddie's part. (Even Jessica, in hindsight.) After letting Jessica handle the reins of her life for almost a year, we get to see her stand up for herself and fight for what she believed in. Maddie finally stopped judging other people based on baseless preconceived notions, and thanks to Sebastian, she realized that not all stereotypes are true. Simply put, I never found myself bored while reading TGAPC. I really loved how Seymour explored just how complicated some friendships can be, and why it's so difficult to let go of them even when they're not bringing out the best in the both you anymore. Also, despite all my complaints with the concepts of games and clubs in NA novels, Seymour actually made them work!
All in all, if you're looking for a not-so-typical NA read, you've found it. (And yes, I am never judging books based on their blurbs again. Yes I know I already said this before... but I promise!)
Rating: 4 Stars
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