YA Review: DITCHED by Robin Mellom

So, last week I said I’d read an article by Kami Kinard on humor and promptly requested all of the books she mentioned. Well, DITCHED by Robin Mellom was one of those books, and it certainly delivered. Let me just give you the description and I think you’ll see why.

Ditched by Robin MellomJustina Griffith was never the girl who dreamed of going to prom. Designer dresses and strappy heels? Not her thing. So she never expected her best friend, Ian Clark, to ask her.

Ian, who always passed her the baseball bat handle first.

Ian, who knew exactly when she needed red licorice.

Ian, who promised her the most amazing night at prom.

So when Justina is ditched, figuratively and literally, she must piece together–stain-by-stain on her thrift store dress–exactly how she ended up dateless…with only the help of some opinionated ladies at the 7-Eleven. But to get to the whole story, Justina will have to face the boy who ditched her. Can losing out at her prom ultimately lead to finding true love?

Here are the five things I loved most:

1. The humor – There are so many laugh-out-loud moments in this story. I give you the opening paragraphs as an example:

“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 five 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.”

Well, now the reader does!

2. The stain timeline – Since I just alluded to them, I’ll carry on with the stains. They were both a unique and humorous way to tell the story, like a map of Justina’s disastrous prom night. They provided a great way to go back and forth between her analysis with the 7-Eleven ladies and flashbacks to the actual events.

3. The cinematic element – In the acknowledgments, Robin Mellom gives a shout-out to John Hughes, and it’s so appropriate because this books plays out like a John Hughes movie. From the over-the-top characters to the ridiculous prom dress to Justina chasing Ian’s car down the highway when he doesn’t have a clue … yep, totally should be a movie.

4. The supporting characters – What a crazy cast of characters! I kept wondering what unexpected thing they’d do or say next. I especially loved the Mikes and their dates, who make some poor lifestyle choices (can’t support drugs in any form) but were there for Justina the whole time.

5. The romance –  The love story is really sweet, and it’s kind of amazing that it is. This story is told in first person through Justina’s eyes, and based on the circumstances, it looks pretty bad. And yet as a reader, I had hope through the whole story. I’m not quite sure how Ms. Mellom pulled that off. It was very well done.

Can someone get on that movie now? It’s ok–I could see it all as I was reading, anyway :). Definitely pick this one up if you want a laugh!

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