13 Reasons to Not Move before Senior Year... That Thing Formerly Known As My Life by Sally Johnson (Review)

That Thing Formerly Known As My LifeThat Thing Formerly Known as My Life
by Sally Johnson
YA Contemporary
Paperback & ebook, 211 Pages
July 1st 2016


A cross-country move wasn’t exactly what McKinley had in mind for her senior trip, but leave it to her parents to up and move to Rhode Island. Her senior year was supposed to be awesome, but when she ticks off popular cheerleader Taylor, it goes from bad to worse.

The only good thing about moving is the mysterious, Camaro-driving, all-around-likeable Nick Phelan. But that mysterious thing that makes him so likeable is also making McKinley suspicious.

Nick hides secrets. McKinley harbors doubts. Taylor bares her teeth. But dealing with moving and Taylor is nothing compared to the biggest secret of all.

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My Review

13 Reasons to Not Move before Senior Year:
  1. You lose all your friends and even your best friend starts to pull away.
  2. You have to start all over with the hierarchy of high school and being at the bottom is not cool.
  3. That cute guy you were digging and starting to form a relationship with? You haven't got a chance with him now.
  4. You get to trade in your swanky house in Las Vegas for an old, musty-smelling one your family inherits from grandma.
  5. You now have an ugly orange front door, which requires you to paint it.
  6. Your parents work all the time to build up the new business/job and you never see them (although, that could be a good reason...).
  7. Due to said parents being gone all the time, you are now a full-time maid and cook.
  8. Due to the new business being a pizza joint, you can no longer tolerate eating pizza, which is a crying shame. (However, free cookie dough is a great guy magnet.)
  9. You inadvertently offend the most popular girl in school making you a social pariah and the blunt of all her jokes.
  10. You end up being the only non-athletic person in P.E. because somehow the only spot they had left was the class with all the jocks and preppy girls.
  11. Even worse, P.E. is the first class of the day making you either stink for the rest of the day or be forced to take a shower in the mold-infested showers before your second class.
  12. You only have two friends, at least until the new guy comes, but you're not sure if he's really your friend.
  13. Instead of being able to just have fun your last year of high school with all your friends that you've known forever, you now have to grow up and face some tough things. On the bright side, that new guy gets you and there might be something there...

Thus is McKinley's life in THAT THING FORMERLY KNOWN AS MY LIFE. It's sweet, complicated, snarky, and laugh-out-loud hilarious. This story delves into the high school setting with some secrets in the background that add a little suspense, a possible romance, some friend and family complexities, and characters that are easy to connect with. Readers who enjoy contemporary YA will find something to like here.

I read this story easily in one sitting. It had such great dialogue with all the sarcasm, inner turmoil, and various challenges that McKinley faces. There were so many moments that made me laugh. I also loved the characters! McKinley does have her moments of immaturity, especially towards the end, which got to me a little. And I'm not sure I loved the twist in the end. I saw it coming but I was hoping that something was less instead of being the three it was (can't say more as it would spoil it, but if you read this, you'll know what I mean). That was the only thing that came off as unauthentic or unrealistic.

In the end, was it what I wished for? Pretty much. There were some great characters and moments in this story making for a very enjoyable read!

Content: Some innuendo and references to drinking, drugs, and partying. Would consider it clean.

Source: Received complementary ebook through ebooksforreview.com, which did not affect my review in any way.

Does this sound like something you would like? What's your current YA contemporary favorite?

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