January 9, 2012 by Heidi
Author: Robin Mellom [Website|Twitter|Facebook]
Standing: Stand alone novel.
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published: January 10th, 2012 by Disney-Hyperion
Format: E-book edition; 288 pages.
Source: ARC from reviewer via NetGalley.
Our story opens to find Justina literally and figuratively ditched down the road from her favorite 7-11. Her prom dress is covered in stains, she has some interesting bruises, and a punky Tinker Bell tattoo on her upper arm. She drags herself to the 7-11, and with no wallet, cell phone, or anything for that matter, she’s stuck at 6:15 in the morning recounting her story of woe to Gilda and Donna while snacking on pity treats. Ditched opens somewhat like a PG version of The Hangover. Justina wasn’t drugged or doped, but she does have a huge bump on her head and low blood sugar to the point of being crazy crackers. Her recounting of how she was ditched by her best friend/potential boyfriend, Ian, on prom night creates a hilarious emotional roller coaster. Every chapter I would go from being convinced something horrible was going to happen, to thinking she was overreacting, to being mad at Justina, to rooting for her, and back again. I loved it! It was light, cute, fun, and as Michelle at GalleySmith said, very much a John Hughes movie in book form! Seriously–this would make such a good teen movie!
Justina (despite having the worst name of 2012 thus far, don’t worry Robin Mellom, someone’s bound to produce something worse before year’s end) is adorable. She’s essentially the poor girl at a rich school, and made the mistake of letting her mother influence her prom-wear a little too much. MATCHING EVERYTHING AHHHH! Hasn’t her mother ever watched What Not to Wear?! It doesn’t have to match, it has to go! Despite that, she cares way too much about what everyone else thinks, which is funny because she’s cultivated quite the reputation for herself. In an attempt to tone down her slutty renown, she swore off men, picked up Ian as a best friend, and hasn’t kissed a soul in eight months and twelve days. Of course she recently realized Ian is the perfect boyfriend, and she wants him to be hers, but everything, and I mean everything on prom night goes wrong.
This book was the first in a while to have me literally laughing out loud. There were too many funny pieces and phrases for me to pull them out as they’d add up too fast. Also, I loved the font. I know that’s about the über nerdiest thing one could say, but the chapter headings and question marks are cute and it fits this book perfectly. Part of me really wishes I could go back and read the same story from Ian’s point of view, as I have little doubt it’s just as eventful. Here’s the opening:
I don’t know how I ended up on the side of Hollister Road, lying in this ditch.
This moment, last night, the details–all fuzzy. A reluctant glance down and I see I’m covered in scratches and bruises. The bruise on my shin appears to be in the shape of a french fry. French fries cause bruises? And I have at least seven stains on my royal blue iridescent dress–two black, one greenish-bluish, and the remaining are various shades of yellow. What are these? Mustard? Curry?
Wait. I don’t even want to know.
What I do want to know is why I just fell out of a moving Toyota Prius and was left here in this ditch with a french fry shin bruise and unrecognizable stains. Especially the yellow ones.
Please, please be curry.
Looking down the road, I see two things: the sun coming up behind Hollister Peak, and the car lights of Brian Sontag’s Prius getting smaller and smaller in the distance.
I start to think about last night, but the past twelve hours are a total blur. Like, for instance, how and why I got into Brian Sontag’s Toyota Prius.
I touch my forehead, which is already swelling from the fall, and I realize this must be why I can’t remember a thing from last night. I look down at myself again and wish I hadn’t. Gross. If Ian could see me now, he would ditch me for sure.
Except that he already has.
Likelihood that I’ll be back for more:Ditched was so much fun, I would love to read more from Robin Mellom!
Recommended for: John Hugues fans, people who enjoy YA and The Hangover, those who want a light, quick, laughable read.
Real life repercussions of reading this book: I’ve learned an awesome new calculation! Want to know when your bad deed will be erased? Calculate the sum of your deed(s), multiply by 2.5, and that my friends, is how long before you’re in the clear!