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Review: TMI

by Sarah Quigley
Young Adult, 288 pages. Dutton (2009) ISBN: 978-0525479086

Ever wish life came with a release valve? Just dumped in a very shameful way by a freshman, of all things, for her oversharing tendencies, Becca decides to pursue another way to vent. Instead of going analog with a diary, she starts a blog, takes on the identity of Bella and spills her guts. Her blog is rightfully called TMI, or “Too Much Information.”

Everything goes swimmingly for a while. New boy Jai joins Becca and her best friend Katie at their table in the cafeteria. She gets cast as Sandy in the school production of Grease. Her crush, who she’ll be sharing the stage with, even seems to like her. Bella’s blog posts hit an all-time TMI-high as she dishes on her romantic fantasies, her family and the juicy details of her friends’ lives.

But what goes up on the Internet must come down… right? When Becca realizes that she should’ve probably kept some details of her life to herself, that maybe her blog wasn’t quite as anonymous as she thought, it’s too late to undo the damage her loose lips, er, fingertips caused. Print-outs of her blog make the rounds at school and implicate Jai, who  shared his biggest secret with the wrong girl, in something huge.

As she’s faced with the hard truth behind her overshare escapades, Becca must work to win back her friendships and any shred of trust she has left, both from herself and others.

TMI comes out on April 16th, 2009. Pre-order it today!

For Readers: Sarah Quigley has packed tons of fun into this hilarious debut. Becca’s voice is right on point and her filter is absolutely nonexistent. Readers will cringe along with Jai and Katie as they turn the pages to see what spills from her mouth next. The blog entries are delightful fun and really keep the pacing quick and lively. While TMI is a fresh, fast read, Quigley wasn’t afraid to give readers an endearing main character who does some dumb, deplorable things and pays for it. And unlike most main characters, Becca really feels the full brunt of her actions in a surprisingly deep and truthful way. The reader will delight in seeing her grow for the experience. After turning the last page, they’ll be crushed that Becca actually stopped talking.

For Writers: Not only is TMI a study in witty, hilarious dialogue, Becca is also a wonderful character for a writer to read. From Becca’s public persona at school to her private agony after yet another info-binge, she’s very mutli-faceted. Her flights of fancy in the blog entries she writes only add another level, and we see how Quigley has fleshed out her imagination to great effect. Aspiring authors will also be interested (and a little bit jealous) to learn that Quigley, as alter-ego Babs, is no stranger to anonymous blogging. It was an editor at Dutton who saw her online journal and contacted her about writing a YA book. TMI is the result. Now she’s much less secretive over at SarahQuigley.com.

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