Title: 365 Days
Author: K.E. Payne
Published: June 14th 2011 by Bold Strokes Books
Genre: YA Contemporary LGBTQI
One mixed-up girl, one dull boy, two hot distractions. How does one figure it all out?
Life sucks when you’re fifteen years old, confused about your sexuality, and the girl of your dreams doesn’t even know you exist. The sudden entrance of a hot new emo at school only adds to the confusion.
Clemmie Atkins thinks she’s in love with her school friend, the mysterious and alluring J. Devastated that J doesn’t even seem to know she exists, Clemmie tries to escape her feelings by dating the nice but dim Ben. Unfortunately for Clemmie—and Josh—J just won’t leave her head, or her heart.
In walks sexy new-girl, Hannah Harrison. Before long, dreams of Hannah begin to eclipse the impossible thoughts of J and the boredom of Ben. Clemmie has exactly 365 days to discover herself, and she’s going to have a blast doing it!
I wanted to enjoy this story, but I very much did not. In fact, reading it was kind of painful. The entire thing is told in diary format, which to me made it difficult to connect with characters other than Clemmie, and I most certainly did not want to connect with Clemmie herself. She’s quiet possibly the whiniest, most selfish, dumbest character I have read in a good long while.
She’s this 16-17 year old girl who is just starting to question her sexuality due to these feelings she has for a schoolmate, J. Her friends sort of pressure her into going on a date with this guy Ben, who she couldn’t care less about. Or care less about treating like an actual human being. During the date she’s stand offish, rude, ignores him, tells us continuously how awful he is, and how she has absolutely no interest in him. So of course when he asks her out again, she says yes. Two or three more times. Then she whines about how he can’t take the hint that she’s not interested. Luckily, Ben wises up and dumps her. Good on you, boy!
When Clemmie’s not telling us how stupid and useless and boring her family is, she actively neglects her friends in favour of hanging out with the new girl, Hannah, who she is rapidly developing a crush on. Of course, the feelings she previously had for J just poof at the first sign of someone new. Hannah is an emokid, though Clemmie constantly calls her a goth (and then corrects herself!). As time progresses, it starts to look like Hannah is crushing hard too. Having her first girlfriend is the perfect time for Clemmie to decide to dye her hair black, like Hannah’s. Or think about getting a tattoo, because Hannah might like it. Or start listening to the same music as Hannah.
The diary entries themselves have massive overdoses of exclamation points. Like, she sooo calls Ben stupid for not spelling correctly, but then tooootally commits awful acts of grammar herself!!! [/sarcasm]
I think the narrative was supposed to be funny, but to me it just sounded like Clemmie has the mental faculties of a toad. At one point when she notices her supposedly very good friend has lost a lot of weight, she makes an offhand comment about hoping the girl doesn’t have this dyslexia malarkey. Of course, instead of talking to her friend about it, she blocks the girl on MSN so she can chat to Hannah instead.
Mr. Head, meet Mr. Desk. Repeatedly.
I really wanted to enjoy this book. I mean, a teenager with a crush on a friend? Who hasn’t been there? *sigh* I think the cover is cool, does that count? Also, I liked that the story is set in Britain, it was a nice change of pace in the beginning. I enjoy seeing the Queen’s English used, it’s like those extra Us are welcome old friends.
KE Payne was born in Bath, the English city, not the tub, and after leaving school she worked for the British government for fifteen years, which probably sounds a lot more exciting than it really was.
Fed up with spending her days moving paperwork around her desk and making models of the Taj Mahal out of paperclips, she packed it all in to go to university in Bristol and graduated as a mature student in 2006 with a degree in linguistics and history.
After graduating, she worked at a university in the Midlands for a while, again moving all that paperwork around, before finally leaving to embark on her dream career as a writer.
She moved to the idyllic English countryside in 2007 where she now lives and works happily surrounded by dogs and guinea pigs.