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90 Days of Different by Eric Walters

90 Days of Different

by Eric Walters

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
(origionaly posted to Challa Fletcher blog)
It should be one of the best days of Sophie’s life: 18 years old, just graduated high school and only 90 days away from starting college! But that’s not quite the case. Luke, her boyfriend of over a year, just broke up with her in an empty high school classroom; telling her she was boring. Also, all Sophie is worried about is how her dad and brother will make it without her there to cook, clean, and keep them alive. Lucky for Sophie her long time best friend, Ella, has a solution that can turn the next 90 days into an unforgettable summer.

90 Days of Different is a coming-of-age story that dares us to get out of our comfort zone and stare fear in the face.

What Didn’t Work: 90 Days of Different is so fast paced you don't develop any concern for the characters and I started to dislike the main character and her best friend. The book doesn’t cover all 90 days of differences, but it does cover a lot of them. The story is moving so quickly you don't get a feel of why Sophie is afraid of some of the simplest things. Who hasn’t at least tried some oddly flavored ice cream? The reason for some of her behavior towards the end of the story does become revealed. The fast paced story doesn’t allow you to care about any of the characters; you don’t learn a lot about them. I began to dislike Sophie and Ella. Sophie is described as needing everyone to like her, but she can also be a bit conceited. Ella is obsessed with identifying Sophie as a princess and holding a grudge that everyone overlooks her to see Sophie. This goes so to the point that she chooses some differents just to make Sophie look bad. Their relationship, at least on Ella’s side, is almost bitter. Sophie also talks to her father very disrespectfully, which makes him seems weak. Finally, the story is high in dialogue so descriptions scenes are lost. Some of the dialogue stretch on too long; like the conversation about a cleaning service and ordering groceries online.

What Did Work: Eric Walter brings YA all the way into our millennium with including talk of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and blogging. It’s accurate that pictures of pretty girls doing crazy stuff will garner a lot of likes and attention and even mean comments. I was glad Walters didn’t make everything positive and upbeat about social networks. Sophie does have some trolls and inappropriate comments from guys and girls; making her feel bad. Who doesn’t have to deal with that online?
To add to that, you can actually follow Sophie online as @Sophie_Evans90 on Twitter and @SophieEvans90 on Instagram, and see some of these differences our character experiences. Very cool and interactive way to get to know the character.

In the end, this wasn’t a bad story, but it wasn’t excellent either. It's just a lot of fluff. It's a fun read, so I don’t feel like I wasted my time and it made me wonder what things I can try to do differently. It's a light-hearted tale, and a YA that isn’t all about getting the guy, which can be rare it seems. Fluff doesn’t mean bad.
For its real life application and use of social media in a creative and real world way, I give 90 Days of Different by Eric Walters 3/5!

Happy Reading and Try Something New ( )
  ByChallaF | Jun 16, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Sophie graduates high school and is challenged by her best friend to do something different each day before heading off to college. Some of the differents are relatively simple, like choosing a new flavor of ice cream to try, while others are a bit more intense, like walking a runway in a fashion show. By doing her something different each day, Sophie learns about herself and grows in the process.

I wanted to like this book more than I did. I really like the concept of pushing yourself to do new things with the goal or growing and expanding your comfort zone. However, I was frustrated by the fact that so many of the things Sophie did require an extensive social base, and, let's be honest, couldn't actually be done by the average person living in the middle of nowhere. This lack of authenticity took me right out of the story and just made me mad. I did appreciate that Sophie actually went through an emotional journey and uncovered knowledge about herself as she was doing the differents. ( )
  KarenRendall | Jun 13, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A sweet contemporary story with a few hiccups but a great message! Full review available at: http://rhanebowreads.wixsite.com/rhanebowreads ( )
  RhaneBowReads | Jun 11, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The book doesn’t cover every single “day of different,” but does cover a lot of them. The variety is nice, but at the same time makes the book quick and disjointed. While a few days had serious introspection and well done emotional moments, the majority were light and fluffy. I looked forward to seeing what Ella had planned for Sophie, but it wasn't really gripping and lacked a sense of suspense or urgency (I’m not sure I would have finished the book if I wasn’t reviewing it).

As a child, Sophie lost one parent and compensated/coped by becoming super responsible and regimented to take care of herself and her remaining family (she also developed a need of being in control). This personality worked well within the story premise, and it gave Sophie a sympathetic angle.

I found it grating that the topic of how hot, gorgeous and photogenic Sophie is came up several times. It’s cliché for female characters to be conventionally attractive, and we don’t need books putting an emphasis on the importance of being a boy-magnet. Ella harbors some bitterness/jealously over Sophie’s looks, and I thought the author might take that in a sinister direction since Ella was the one setting up all Sophie’s days of different, but the envy didn’t go anywhere. Luckily Sophie decides not to date over the summer, otherwise this could have turned into 90 Days of Different Boys.

Sophie details her days of different on various social media websites, and is hurt over a few negative comments. This would have been an excellent opportunity for the author to explore how nasty people can be on the internet—and the harassment women get in particular—but it was glossed over. The positive impact Sophie had on one of her blog readers was glossed over too. I wished he could have gone deeper into those topics. Perhaps that would have been too much to cover in one book.

Overall, I thought the book was okay. The message about trying different things and getting out of your comfort zone is handled well, but the characters were bland and it was too much like a Hallmark movie for my tastes. The back says it’s Young Adult, but I think it’s more suitable for middle grade.

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  PencilStubs | Jun 11, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
My mother died and some part of me stopped living as well. I was too scared. I was forced to think about things I didn't have any answers for, to feel things I couldn't share with anybody, and there was nobody to talk to or ask. Nobody.

The book starts off with Sophie's boyfriend breaking up with her because she is "boring" "predictable" and "old" (all the because she is responsible ) in which after that happens, her "best friend" Ella pretty much takes his side and talks Sophie into doing 90 different things that she (Ella) plans before Sophie heads off to college.

(honestly that alone pissed me off because Sophie clearly tells her to begin with that she wants to read to kinda get ahead for college, which is SMART! College is freaking HARD. But no, no, suddenly now Ella gets a bug up her butt that Sophie HAS to do these. Ya know, now that she is grown and the time to play is over. ya know, she just HAS to do it NOW. Not years ago or anything. Ugh! Anyway!)

I hated this book. I hate to say that, but I really do. As well as every character. I wouldn't hate Sophie if it weren't for pages 47-51. Since when was fat-shaming people, screaming at elders, and throwing/eating other people's food "cool" and "liberating"? It made me sick to my stomach.

A lot of these "differents" (I really wish they had said challenges, not differents. Is differents even a word?) were interesting but quiet a few were dangerous and illegal. Which always lead me to think "Okay, she is your best friend but is not only endangering your life but could possibly ruin your chance of college if you get caught. Yeah okay. What a awesome friend that is. *eye roll*

Lets talk about the characters for a bit:
Sophie was a rug. Before you freak out saying "But she did those challenges!" sure, she did. but she was shoved into them. Kinda like those insane people who throw their kids in deep water to learn to swim saying "swim or drown". That's what that reminds me of.

This whole book was Sophie being peer pressured to do things that made her uncomfortable and borderline torture. Because gosh forbid she try to stand up for herself, Ella will just freak the hell out.

Sophie was a weak character.

Ella: you mean the Egotistical Narcissist Cupcake Princess? If there was ever a character I wish would die, it would be Little Miss Priss Ella. I love how she claims to be doing all of this to "help" Sophie but every single chance she gets, she makes it about herself. All she does is complain with these:
-"You're prettier than me"
-"Guys like you more"
-"When we walk into a room, I am invisible"
-"You're skinnier than me"

You know, THOSE kind. I wish I had kept count of how many times she said these. It was annoying.
She guilt trips Sophie nonstop through the whole book. Even at one time, Sophie hurts her wrist during a challenge and Ella literally freaks out because she went to the doctor to make sure it wasn't broken. She says (and I quote)

"How predictable - you need to have everything checked out. The doctor probably told you what a wonderful patient you were."-pg203

"You probably waited patiently in the waiting room, did what you were told, said please and thank you to the nurses and doctors. You know what I mean."-pg204

Like what in the hell are you SUPPOSE to do at a hospital!? Act a fool and get kicked out when you NEED their help!? Are you freaking mental!?

She then proceeds to (of course) not care that her so called best friend was hurt and demands "You haven't even asked how my date went!" which ends with Sophie apologizing purposefully and of course Ella counters with "Sorry that he didn't ask you out instead of me?"

Personally, I think Ella is the WORST kind of "friend"
And I really have to throw it out there that the whole flirting heavily with a 11 year old is not cute, funny, or adorable. It's disgusting.

Sophie's Dad: I am not really sure how I feel. I know he is trying to be a dad, but I felt like he wanted to be one of those parents that would rather be a friend than a dad. I think he was setting a really poor example for Oliver to grow into.

I loved the ending though. It was definitely awesome. All in all, I loved the writing, it flowed like magical liquid and the story line was definitely interesting and actually reminded me a bit of Fangirl.

All in all, I would not recommend this book but I wouldn't tell someone to not read it. It is really one of those books that you have to read for yourself to know if you will like it or not. It's one of those rare reads that will definitely have different views.

**side note from me: Sorry I used the names so much, there was no other way I could review it without using their names. It would have gotten confusing. Unless I used something like Rug and Egotistical Narcissist ( )
1 vote FearStreetZombie | Jun 4, 2017 |
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