Monday, July 18, 2011

Review: Unexpected Development by Marlene Perez

Release date: Sep 4, 2004
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Age Group: (older) Young Adult
Pages: Hardcover - 176
3/5 stars

"I'm not sure you really want to get into what I did this summer, Mrs. Westland. Sex. Sex is how I spent my summer vacation." Megan knows twenty different words for "breasts," and can recite them alphabetically-but she can't remember the last time a guy looked her in the eye first, not the chest. Size matters, as Megan found out in the 5th grade, when she developed the largest breasts in the class. Now she's 17 and wearing her twin brothers' baggy sweatshirts can't hide the fact-two facts, really. When her summer job at Pancake Palace puts her in close touch with Jake, who smells like "temptation and Ivory soap," Megan wonders if he can like her for herself, not just her body. Can lusty, busty Megan learn to trust Jake -and herself? Megan tells about her summer of sex in somewhat poignant and very funny journal entries to her favorite teacher. (Summary from Goodreads)

I picked up this book on a recent trip to Half Price Books, thinking it would be a fun, quirky coming of age story. However, I have to say the book didn't start out on a high note for me. For some reason, I just couldn't connect with the characters or the writing. Maybe it's because I'm so different from the main character, but I just couldn't relate to her insecurity or overreactions to everything. However, Marlene Perez did a good job at making Megan sound like a real person. As the story moved on, I started to connect with the characters. After all, they were teenagers dealing with basic teenage stuff: their first job, family issues, change of friends groups, and sex and relationships. However, Megan and Jake's relationship progressed a little too fast for me, it seemed like they were dating within two days and having a lover's spat within another! But other than that, I thought Perez did a good job portraying your average teen romance. Perez also did a great job using the minor characters throughout the story to form an interesting subplot. While some of the things that happened in the book didn't seem entirely believable, it somehow worked. It was like watching teens on a reality TV show, you wonder how they can be so different from you. Overall, Unexpected Development by Marlene Perez was a quick, easy read. She did a good job portraying teen issues, and I really enjoyed the ending because it wasn't your typical happily ever after. It wasn't one of my favorite books, but it's a great read for a day in bed.

Writing: 3 stars
Characters: 4 stars
Plot: 4 stars
Ending: 5 stars
Cover: 4 stars

I hope you enjoyed this review!

Love always,



  1. great review. Doesn't sound like a book I have any interest in, but still, great review!

  2. Unexpected Development is a fantastic coming-of-age novel that explores body perception, boys, friends, and love. I highly recommend this book to teen girls looking for an engaging book to read.