Friday, 23 January 2009

Pants On Fire by Meg Cabot

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pub. Date: June 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: paperback
Source: purchased

Katie Ellison is not a liar.

It's just that telling the truth is so . . . tricky. She knows she shouldn't be making out with a drama club hottie behind her football-player boyfriend's back. She should probably admit that she can't stand eating quahogs (clams), especially since she's running for Quahog Princess in her hometown's annual Quahog Festival. And it would be a relief to finally tell someone what really happened the night Tommy Sullivan is a freak was spray-painted on the new wall outside the junior high school gymnasium—in neon orange, which still hasn't been sandblasted off. After all, everyone knows that's what drove Tommy out of town four years ago.

But now Tommy Sullivan has come back. Katie is sure he's out for revenge, and she'll do anything to hang on to her perfect (if slightly dishonest) existence. Even if it means telling more lies than ever. Even if, now that Tommy's around, she's actually—no lie—having the time of her life.

This is the first Meg Cabot book that I read and it gave me so much fun. Meg was well-known for her sense of humor and this story was definitely a great proof. I was really surprised how she cracked me up simply with some words.

Katie's character was really interesting. I disliked her at first; she seemed too pretentious, boy-crazed and silly to me. Besides, the fact that Katie was a two-timer was sort of shocking (maybe because it came right after very few first chapters). She also hid a secret about our male lead, which I was certain wasn't a nice thing either. But then the story progressed and Katie started to grow on me. It turned out that she was just a normal teenager who was trying to be with the right guy, to follow her dreams of becoming a photographer, and to fit in a town where Quahogs - whom she hated - ruled. Katie was too scared to be herself because it might change her life and how people looked at her.

I think it's somehow relatable to us teenagers. I bet you have at least once hid your real self just because you don't want to be an outcast for thinking or acting different, just like Katie. On the other hand, there are still a lot of Tommy Sullivan out there who stood up for what he believed. I adored Tommy alot, not only was he charming and caring, he was really brave as well. He did the right thing for justice even though the consequence was his going away from hometown.

Let me tell you what I like the most of this story: Katie and Tommy's strong bond. Even though Katie herself knew she betrayed her best friend, she did take his side for once, in a strange but sweet way. And Tommy, instead of coming back to take revenge on Katie, helped her reveal to the world the Katie only he saw. And realized who she was truly in love with.

I'm sure you'll go back and forth between "hahaha" and "awww" on reading this book.

Rating: 4/5

Did you know? The book was originally named Tommy Sullivan Is A Freak but Harper Teen changed it to Pants On Fire. (I think it's a wise move because Tommy is too hot to be a freak ; P )


Adele said...

I love this book, it's humorous while possessing a nice message. I think you'll find that in the UK and Australia that the Tommy Sullivan is a freak title is the one used.

Diana Dang said...

This is one of my favourite Meg Cabot's books. I hated the character in the beginning too. I nearly shut the book for good. If it wasn't for my boredom at one point, I would have never cracked it open again.

Bookworm said...

Looks good!

Barrie said...

There's often an interesting story behind the title.

Lenore said...

I think the original title is more catchy.