For those of you who don’t happen to know Swedish, the title translates into “Cute boys are only make-believe” and I guess that’s a fitting title. This book was interesting in several ways for me personally, but that’s mainly because of the reading challenge and the category this book is in. Other than that, it’s fairly unremarkable.
Söta pojkar är bara på låtsas, by Moa Eriksson Sandberg
Now, let’s get some basics done first off. This is a young adult novel and considering that I’ve read quite a few of those, it just doesn’t stand up to its competition very well. Just like in Affektion, the protagonist girl just isn’t very sympathetic. Again it’s too much selfishness and whining for my taste. I know that’s just how a lot of teenagers are, but it doesn’t make for a good reading experience.
What made this an interesting read for me was two things. Firstly, I was reading this for the category “A book that takes place in your hometown” and it really fits the bill for that. The book is based on diary entries from the author’s time in upper secondary school, which means that I recognize and visualize most of the locales in the novel when I read it. There’s parties going on at pubs and nightclubs I’ve set my foot in. Here’s the second interesting thing, or should I say VERY interesting thing: The author went to school in the same class as my best friend back then. I actually brought out my old school yearbook from that time and found her. I didn’t hang out with his classmates all that much, but I know that I’ve met her at some point. That made things VERY interesting and transformed the book into a real pageturner. Sadly, I couldn’t find any dirt on my friend.
It’s a basic girl-coming-of-age story with various teenage drama bits sprinkled in here and there. She meets a handful of guys and there’s drunken escapades, regretful sexcapades and plenty of “oh my god, is HE at this party???” moments. It doesn’t focus a lot of friendships. They come in here and there, but the main focus is the protagonist and her crushes. Most of it was forgettable, because if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve met the writer and the book is set in my hometown, the book is mostly a massive shrug.
I had another fairly strange experience after I finished this book. I had to check out what else Moa Eriksson Sandberg had written and found a couple of novels and a few erotica short stories. I had to read those, because the sex in this book was pretty tame and I wanted to see where she can go if she goes all out. Well, they were a couple of weird experiences as well (mythical semi-human creatures, etc), but mostly forgettable.
I rated this 2 out of 5 on Goodreads. Finished it on January 25th.