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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

Girls Don't Wear Pants: Major Crush by Jennifer Echols

Major Crush (Romantic Comedies (Mass Market)) - Jennifer Echols
I want to tell this book to fuck itself.
That's how I felt when I contemplated about throwing a library book into the trash and just give the library seven or so bucks so they could replace with....I don't know, something that actually had social value and that didn't preach values that were just soooo horrible.
Yes, I'm raging right now.  And I guess I should explain that rage.
If you read this blog or know me, I'm a bit of a band geek.  My parents are musicians, aunts uncles too, my sister is as well.  Heck, my best friend growing up's parents were band directors too so I was always around band people.  I know how marching band works and while I didn't have the best marching band experience (double alternate here), I get how it's an important part of the high school band experience.  And prime for YA.
Unfortunately, YA sort of sucks in adapting marching band.  
Grant it, I've only read one now two books that dealt with the subject matter but they sucked ass.  Big time.
Though I will give Major Crush this, at least it didn't focus on the aspects of marching band as much as Notes From an Accidental Bank Geek did.  That book was so wrong it's not even funny. That aside though....I think Notes From an Accidental Band Geek is a better book than Major Crush and I really hate saying that because I was hoping when I spotted Major Crush at the library it would wash out that bad taste that the Dionne book left in my mouth.
Instead, it just sort of almost turned me off on band YA books for good.
In fact, I don't even want to attempt to read another band oriented book unless some of my most critical reviewer friends give the book at least a high mediocre rating.
Yeah, I'm that turned off.
So how did that happen?  I mean, I was fairly enthusiastic about band oriented YA books even after Dionne's shit fest.....
Well, let's start with our characters.  Characters are always a real indicator if I'm going to like the story.  But when there's no one likable here....well, remember my DNF list about being surrounded by assholes it applied here.  I didn't care for the main character who was vapid, annoying, and just plain stupid.  The supposed hero who was an ass-he essentially started a rumor that our MC was sleeping with a teacher when she wasn't.  Or for that matter the supporting characters.  Most notably the band director who is borderline sleazy and cusses like a sailor not only in front of students but in front of parents.
Big no no in today's public school system where you can't even tell a kid that they're doing something wrong without getting the brunt of the parent phone call.
But the plot should save the story right?
What plot?  To save the band which consist of our idiot main character showing some ass because that according to her old wise band director (who's only twenty-two and wouldn't be qualified in real life for the head position since head directors are required to have a master's degree and a music degree in a five year program undergrad so unless said band director was Sheldon Cooper it's really not possible for him to graduate with both degrees that young) that's how you save the band.   Wearing those ugly old pants are what's killing the show.  Girls shouldn't wear pants.  Doing things like polishing your show actually put people on respective instruments because of abilities not gender aren't going to help.  Girls just shouldn't wear pants.
Oh, you're probably are raising some eyebrows now.  I wish I had some alcohol to give you, but wait things get better...
Not in the fact that the book gets better.  It doesn't.  Hardly.  The book pretty much a shit fest for the fifty percent I read.  I'm almost tempted to go into a big diatribe of all the factual inaccuracies I read, but  I won't.  God knows, I dealt with a fair amount of trolls with Dionne's book who said I was overly harsh for pointing out all the band errors there.  And as I said before, this book thankfully doesn't go into the band stuff that much. So I don't have to go that much into particulars.  The main thing I will pick at, is I had such a hard job with the way they handled the fact that the band sucked and how Drew and What's Her Face (I can't even remember the main character's name and I just read the freaking book--oh wait, it's Virginia as in Virginia Ham since she acts like a ham) were essentially pimped to be together because of show.
I'm sorry, but real band directors don't do that.  They might add some neat choreography or props to the show, but if there's a problem they're usually going to work on the drill.  The fact that this director was bullying, cussing out, and just being an asshole towards his drum majors disgusted me.  I was ready for a parent teacher conference from hell-I know that's what my parents would've done if what happened to Virginia Ham happened to me.  Not to mention my daddy probably would've gone ape shit to the principal about those accusations lover boy made about Virginia Ham and the teacher.  And the fact that Mr. Band Director acted like Virginia was poison and sort of shrugged off those accusations....
And seriously, how are we supposed to root for a guy that says purposely lies to an adult about the fact that the main character slept with the previous director?  Or the fact that he dates a girl whose name he doesn't know?  And also, why does everyone act like Virginia Ham would be the one at fault if a so called affair between a student and teacher happened?  It's like this town has never heard of Sexual Harassment Panda.
You know what, I don't care.  By this point I knew I was going to DNF it and when they started portraying the town as being made up on racist Mean Girls (long story short the school had a Miss Homecoming who was always white and a Miss Victory who was always black).  I just had to shut the book and throw it against the wall.  I really, really, was just beyond disgusted by that point.
This book gets no stars from me at the blog.  I gave it one star on GoodReads and a half star at Booklikes. It just failed for me.  And I hope I can erase it from my memory soon.
Source: http://howdyyal.blogspot.com/2013/10/major-crush-jennifer-echols.html