Book Review (ARC): She’s the Worst by Lauren Spieller

As a SoCal native, I’m always excited to read a story set in Los Angeles, and this book read like an appreciation letter to the city while simultaneously exploring the complexities of family relationships. ☀️ She’s the Worst follows the perspectives of April and Jenn, two sisters who spend a day together touring their hometown in hopes of restoring their relationship before Jenn leaves for college. While this book flew by as a quick and entertaining read, I did think that it lacked a certain spark to make me completely fall in love.  

SHE’S THE WORST by Lauren Spieller

PUBLISHED BY Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster) on September 3rd 2019

GENRES: Contemporary

PAGES: 320 

ADD TO GOODREADS    //    BOOK DEPOSITORY

Sisters April and Jenn haven’t been close in years. Jenn’s too busy with school, the family antique shop, and her boyfriend, and April would rather play soccer and hang out with the boy next door.

But when April notices her older sister is sad about staying home for college, she decides to do something about it. The girls set off to revive a pact they made as kids: spend an epic day exploring the greatest hits of their childhood and all that Los Angeles has to offer.

Then April learns that Jenn has been keeping a secret that could rip their family—and their feuding parents—apart. With only one day to set things right, the sisters must decide if their relationship is worth saving, or if the truth will tear them apart for good. 

Trigger/Content Warnings: cheating, emotionally abusive parents, discussion of divorce, references to sex

In terms of writing, this book flew by, and I found myself engrossed in page after page. From the sisterly relationship to the romantic subplot on the side, I wanted the best for the characters, and Lauren Spieller’s writing made it the story read like a movie, or at least a quick LA-based TV show. ✏️ Additionally, although Los Angeles primarily served as a backdrop to the greater story of family and sisterly friendship, April and Jenn’s magical sister day bucket list made me feel so nostalgic for my hometown.

As an only child, I couldn’t relate 100% to the sister dynamics within the story, but based on my friendships with sisters, I feel as if the story did a pretty great job of showing the simultaneous headstrong arguments yet desire to be close friends. Of course, every relationship is different, so it’s probably not representative of everyone’s relationships of fighting and friendship. 💞 A primary focal point of this story was how each sister thought the other person “had it better” in terms of relationships with parents and overall life, but throughout the story, we see how their time together dissolves those misconceptions, leading to a greater appreciation for each other.

“People in LA want something out of this city so badly they’re willing to put up with all the traffic to get to it”

One of the primary reasons I didn’t love this book was because I was continuously frustrated by the family dynamics since no one would communicate with each other, yet at the same time, I could understand why it was important to be written into the story because miscommunication or lack of communication is a reality for many families. 😔 The author did a really great job of showcasing how the effects of parents fighting have trickle-down effects on their children when they get caught in the crossfire. However, I would warn that if you are not a fan of ineffective communication as a major focal point of the plot, this book may not be for you.

Overall, this story was fast-paced and entertaining, but I was craving for more in order to completely love the entire story. The LA-references spoke to my heart, and the character development in sisterly relationships made me happy to watch unfold. This is the second Lauren Spieller contemporary that I’ve read, and I found that while they’re short, fun reads, they’re just short of being a stellar read. Still, I’m excited to see more of her future works, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

Have you read She’s the Worst?

What were your thoughts?

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12 thoughts on “Book Review (ARC): She’s the Worst by Lauren Spieller

    1. Yes! I think what’s great is that the characters ARENT perfect. Sometimes, I definitely got frustrated because I feel like so many of their problems could be solved through communicating, but truthfully, THEY’RE TEENAGERS (and sisters). There’s bound to be miscommunication which is a flaw in their character that they address over time!

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  1. Ooh I’m intrigued to check this out – I’m a huge fan of books that explore family dynamics and as I’m super close to my sister, books about sisters often make me really emotional too 😅 I’ll be interesting to see how I respond to the poor communication aspect bc that’s one of my major bookish pet peeves hahaha 😂 Awesome review, Tiffany!! 😍

    💛 Ngoc

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    1. OOOO I’m excited to hear your thoughts then!! I think your experience reading it will be different from mine then since you have a sister because that was the main part of the story I couldn’t fully relate to! OOF I get what you mean too about being annoyed with poor communication. It makes me want to scream at the characters sometimes!! I think the main thing was accepting that they’re teenagers and that’s just how people act sometimes 😅

      Thank you for reading my review, Ngoc!! ❤️

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  2. I feel like you summed up perfectly my feelings on this book, Tiffany! ❤ I recently read it and, while I had a fun time with it overall, it did miss something for me to fall in love with it. I was craving a little more from the sister relationships and the family dynamics were interesting, but all of these miscommunications very, very frustrating, too.
    Wonderful review! ❤

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    1. YES EXACTLY!! I’m so glad that we had similar thoughts on this book because I was SUPER excited to read it, and while it was entertaining…it was just missing ~something~. I know you especially love sister relationships books so this was important for you too! I guess I’m just not a fan of miscommunication as a plot device because it could so easily be cleared up if they just talked!!

      Thanks for reading, Marie ❤️❤️❤️

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  3. QUALITY FREAKING REVIEW. I will actually Die from miscommunication conflicts even though I’m not even the best at communicating everything haha lmao it’s too PAINFULLY RELATABLE I guess!!! But I’m so here for a book set in SoCal!

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    1. OKAY THANK YOU FOR APPRECIATING IT. I honestly think if you know that miscommunication happens in the book. It’s so much easier to get into. and afjsaklfjslkf YOU JUST WANT TO SHOUT AT THE CHARACTERS. AND YES APPRECIATE LA 😎☀️

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  4. Great review, Tiffany! Hmm, I’m not sure if the miscommunication aspect would bother me so much or not! I enjoyed this author’s debut novel, so I’ve been quite curious about this one! It’s nice to see that there are some fun LA references thrown in there! ❤

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    1. OOO Ok I would rate her debut novel and this one about the same! BUT I do think you’ll also really enjoy the LA references since we’re both SoCal girls 😉❤️

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  5. I am yet to read this book. Mat be I’ll start next week. Now that you and Marie both have mixed feeling about it, I am not sure how much I am going to like it. But I’ll try to read with open mind 🙂

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    1. Ooo yes definitely go into the book with an open mind. It was definitely still an enjoyable read, but it was SPECTACULAR if you know what I mean?? I wanted more in terms of the family developments and less of miscommunication, but overall, it wasn’t a bad story!

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