Friday, December 17, 2010

The Naughty List - Suzanne Young

Everybody knows Tessa Crimson is the purrfectly perky captain of the Smitten Kittens cheer squad. What most people don't know is that the Smitten Kittens double as spies-for-hire. Their mission? Catch cheating boyfriends in the act and bring justice to the girls of Washington High. So far, every suspect on their Naughty List has been found 100% guilty!
Thank goodness Tessa's relationship with basketball captain Aiden is strawberry-smoothie. Or so she thinks.

Inter-Kitten Communication
Dear Smitten Kittens, 
Brace yourselves, girls, for this latest catastrophe--we received the following anonymous alert this morning:

Another name for your possible cheater roster: Aiden Wilder. Who would've guessed, right? Hope the rumors aren't true!

Tessa's about to begin her biggest mission yet: Could her boyfriend be just as naughty as all the rest? 

Title: The Naughty List (The Naughty List #1)
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: February 4, 2010
Source: Borrowed from library. 
My rating: 4/5

What would you do if you suspected your boyfriend was cheating on you? You'd investigate him! Well, at Washington High, the cheer squad doubles as an elite spy squad, and they are all about catching cheaters. Tessa heads the cheer squad, and SOS. Things are going well for the squad; they are exposing their straying classmates left and right, but unfortunately, it's looking like every male investigated is found in a compromising position. When Tessa's longterm boyfriend Aiden, is rumored to be a possible cheater, she doesn't know what to think. Could he really be cheating on her? 
The Naughty List is a light-hearted read, with the Smitten Kittens forming an elite group to help out the female population of their school, expose their boyfriends for the unfaithful boys they are. Though many of the boyfriends are caught in compromising positions, Young leaves something to the imagination. When we find out that Tessa is intimate with her boyfriend, Aiden, we realize that their situation is also left more or less to the imagination. Their intimate relations are alluded to, but not explicitly detailed. Young gives us just enough information to make the read sexy, rather than crass. 
Tessa is not your stereotypical cheerleader. She has a brain, is quite independent, and she respects herself. She holds the team together, and gives them direction when they are working a case, as well as cheering. She is quirky though, in the respect that she does not like cussing, and tones down those around her when they spout off an expletive or two. She integrates other sayings in, rather than cursing, and I have to say, some of the sayings she comes up with had me laughing out loud. She seems almost too perky at times, especially when she's obviously not happy with what is going on, but I give her kudos for trying to make the most of her situation. 
Aiden is also not your stereotypical jock. He's sweet, sexy, and smart, which is refreshing to see. He and Tessa make the cutest couple, and when things start to become complicated between the two, it made my stomach drop. I really hoped things would work out between them, but I wasn't sure if they would. 
Christian is a character who entertains the idea of dating Tessa. He flips around between being sweet, and creepy. The word that immediately came to my mind for Christian was skeezball, and I couldn't shake that feeling throughout the book. Regardless of my feelings, you'll have to read the book to find out if he ended up being the sweet, loving boyfriend that he hoped to be for Tess or if he was just a skeezball. 
Though the book revolves around the cases that the girls are on, it does not solely rely on them, and a lot of Tessa's relationship woes take focal point. I liked the inclusion of the SOS team, and found that they brought more humour to the story with their antics. They really are a supportive group, and banded together when things started to unravel for Tess.  
All in all, a cute, light-hearted, and sexy read that depicts the dating lives of the students of Washington High. Though there are some adult themes, they aren't explicitly detailed, therefore allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions to the various situations that the students found themselves in. I think many teens will enjoy this read, and will enjoy the humour inserted throughout. The conclusion wraps up the story nicely, leaving it at a good stand-alone ending point, but it also leaves it open for a continuation to Tess's story. 


Melissa said...

This doesn't really seem like my cup of tea, but I really appreciate your honest and deep review of this Corrine! It definitely sounds fun and cute! :)

Alex Bennett said...

This one looks really cute, I'll have to read my copy soon!