Secret: I kissed someone else's boyfriend.
Assignment: Do it again.
Like most who find Life by Committee, Tabitha is a little lost. Her best friend has ditched her, her Vermont town is feeling way too small, and she's falling head over heels for a guy named Joe—who already has a girlfriend. Just when Tab is afraid she'll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she discovers Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.
Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she'd ever go on her own. But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?
Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Jennifer E. Smith, Life by Committee is a fresh, vibrant novel about the power of wanting, the messiness of friendship, and the truths we hide and share.
Life has gotten weird for 16-year-old Tabitha. Her parents are expecting a baby and fighting about her father's pot use; her best friend dumped her when a late puberty surge put Tabitha in the "hot" column; and she's flirting with a guy who has a girlfriend. This is all happening in a small Vermont town where everyone knows everyone, and the whole school has a stake in the opposites-attract relationship between Joe, the jock Tabitha likes, and his girlfriend, an arty, sad-girl type. Then Tabitha discovers the website Life by Committee. Its anonymous members trade in secrets, and their M.O. is escalation: tell a secret, get an assignment, then repeat. Tabitha reveals that she kissed Joe, and her assignment is to do it again. Haydu (OCD Love Story) gets at the push-pull between wanting to keep and to divulge secrets, as well as the way that anatomy can feel like destiny. While the school-wide obsession with Joe's girlfriend seems overstated, Haydu keeps a multi-strand plot moving, and the climax, a kind of 12-step meeting meets high-school assembly, is cathartic. Ages 14 up.