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Book Review – DC Trip

What’s the point of being the most popular, best-looking, shittiest girls in school if you don’t wear identical outfits?

While certainly not a breath of fresh air, DC Trip, was seriously entertaining. I picked the book up last night and finished it in just over a day. 

DC Trip was actually an abandoned movie script reworked by the author and comedian, Sara Benincasa, for Adaptive Books. And I just think that is, like, the coolest idea on the planet. Why let somebody’s creativity go to waste? Use it. Cherish it. Build on it.

I actually bought another novel put out by Adaptive Books–Air–and think it looks ridiculously good. I’m thinking about short-listing it on my TBR. 

DC Trip follows a high school class to Washington DC during which the students and teachers alike behave extremely inappropriately. 

This book kept me company all day long. I needed a fast read after reading the gruesome and slow-moving Truly Madly Guilty, and I got it in this book. 

However, it was horribly riddled with cliches, and I found a lot of the material to be extremely unbelievable. Though I loved how raunchy the girls were, they didn’t behave like high schoolers. In fact, I would say the high schoolers were more adult-like and the adults were more teenaged. The adults couldn’t figure out how to express themselves and it kind of felt like they were the ones that needed to come-of-age, not the kids. Meanwhile the teenagers were too confident. Too cool. Too slick.

It is weird to suddenly go from wanting to die to wanting to sprout wings and do loop-de-loops in the sky, but that’s how Alicia felt.

(An unusual way for a grown up woman to express herself, in my opinion.) 

The problems were in the characters’ dialogues. For the one thing–they all sort of talked the same. All the kids talked the same, and all the boys sounded like girls. I didn’t think any one character truly stood out, save for Rachel, who was the slut, so of course she stood out. 

It might have been a bit more believable if they were seniors, but as just sophomores, the raunchy arguments seemed really far-fetched.

I liked the idea of going back and forth from the teachers to the students. It gave you a little originality as far as the story-telling went. But I feel like the author sort of threw in gay characters to make it more unique. 

Throwing gay characters in a novel doesn’t make it any more unique than the next. It comes all in the material. And while, yes, the students talked to each other in an unconventional manner and the teachers had a bit of an unconventional first encounter, it was just too overdone. The pranks were vanilla, the romance side-plots seemed to come too easily, and the happily ever after was too over-saturated.

Doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. Because I did. The novel moves at a steady pace, the kids are humorous, and you can definitely get a little lost in their worlds. 

They walked down the hallway, the three adventurers, like champions, like commanders of their own destinies. Whether they knew it or not, they looked beautiful, and fierce, like they were ready to conquer the night. All that was missing was a wind machine and some music, and they would’ve made the perfect characters in some cool movie about cool teens doing cool things–until Gertie tripped over her high heels and toppled headlong onto the floor, right in front of Ms. Deats’s room.

The teachers were clearly written by somebody who has never been a teacher. I didn’t feel they acted professionally at any moment. They glared at the students, were frequently side-tracked by their own conflicts, and often treated the students to a snide remark or short response due to their own moodiness. They reacted poorly and were so oblivious, I sort of wanted to slap them.

The ending was definitely too rushed. All of a sudden you were ripped out of the flow of the first 250 pages and stuffed into the last fifty or so as if you were being crammed into a shoe box. Everything sped up and it ruined the story for me a little bit. 

I thought it was kind of awkward and weird how it all came together. It was incredibly unrealistic, as was the majority of the book, and I found myself sort of frowning at how unoriginal a lot of it was. 

The girl rivalry amongst the students was cool, though. I thought the girls were definitely cool, a little too aged up, but definitely cool. 

But I did find them to be very stereotypical. Each person fell, like, perfectly in a mold, and I hate books that don’t test boundaries. 

“You can just say ‘cunt,’ Brooklynn,” she said. “It’s what I say whenever I talk about you.”

Across the restaurant, Ms. Deats beamed at the girls. It was so good to see them actually having a civil discussion.

Like, of course I loved reading their terribly abrasive and raunchy banter, but I couldn’t imagine teenage girls getting so explicit. Sure, I swore when I was a sophomore in high school. But by no means did I go to such great lengths to swear on a never-ending loop. 

I will say the romance element kept me around. There was so much romance, and so many characters warring with their feelings, and I enjoyed getting to know a bunch of different stories instead of one. 

“She’s totally in love with him. I know exactly how she feels. It’s like you just want to hear everything he has to say because he’s so cute and smart and interesting, and you wouldn’t even care if he were just, like, reciting the alphabet, because you know it would be just so awesome, and you just know the two of your were totally meant to be together.”

Definitely had some good moments. Some really really good moments. But the end lost me. I had a great time with the first three quarters, but, man, that last quarter really dragged me through the mud. 

28/38

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