Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Folded Notes from High School by Matthew Boren-- Texting in the 90's was done on notebook paper

Folded Notes from High School

The school year of '91-'92 is a dramatic one for Tara Maureen Murphy and the people who surround her.

As Tara's Senior year begins, she looks forward to being the star of the fall play, basking in the glory of being Christopher Patrick Caparelli's girlfriend, and hanging out with her best friend Stephanie Campbell.  What she doesn't count on is befriending her boyfriend's extremely talented Freshman neighbor, Matt Bloom, losing the role of Sandy in Grease to Joy, and sharing her bestie with the popular girl, Stacey Simon.

Told through old-school notes that school-aged kids used to pass, this book is about how Tara's world is thrown through a loop-- and how she's willing to take everyone down with her if need be.

Do you need to like the main character to like a book?  Because I DON'T!!  Tara Maureen Murphy is a selfish liar who will always look out for #1-- herself.  She's jealous and diabolical.  Annoying and fucking entertaining!!  It made for a rollercoaster of emotions following her through her final year of high school.

This book is a combo of many things that I freaking LOVE in books.  First off, it's set in the 90's-- which, let's be honest, was the best decade of all.  Second, I love reading books told in unique formats.  This book was told as notes passed from one teen to another and that was fun.  Third, the DRAMA.  I like reading about high school drama and maybe others would find it unexciting, but for whatever reason, I like it.  There is A LOT of high school drama in this book-- oh my.  This is mainly because the main character is a drama queen (she's described as a cross between Tracy Flick & Regina George) & lives for the drama (the literal play kind & the kind that she finds in her relationships with others).

Was this book perfection??  No.  It had some lulls in the story where things weren't as page-turning. The ending was abrupt and it felt like the author just sort of ran out of pages.  It left me like: WHERE IS THE REST????

The best parts-- The notes FELT like notes, which brought me back to my own note passing days. Tara was diabolical and insufferable at times-- which is just how I like my mean girls.  The things she would write to Matt!!  He put up with so much crap from this force of a girl and I was hooked on the anticipation of him telling her off.

OVERALL: A super fun book, and we need those, right?  I really loved the 90's setting, the references to mixed tapes and retro bands & fashions, and the note format that the book was told in. I totally recommend this as something to mix-in with your darker, more serious books.  It wasn't perfect but it was fun!

Date Published: 4/3/2018
How I got this book: Thanks to Penguin Random House/Razorbill for providing me with an advanced copy to read and honestly review
Publisher: Razorbill

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 3.5/5

Character: Stephanie Campbell
Book: Be True to Me by Adele Griffin

  • This book is set in the 70's so it wouldn't surpass her time period-- plus, the bestie of a girl like Tara Maureen Murphy would understand the lengths that Jean goes to to get what she wants.


  1. I used to pass notes all the time in high school. I still have a few of the notebooks my friends and I used to pass around. Truthfully, they seem pretty silly now but it's still a fun little reminder of what we got up to in high school. Glad you enjoyed this read.

    thuy @ nite lite book reviews

    1. I would LOVE to read some of the notes I passed back in the day-- I'm sure it would be CRINGE!!

  2. I had my eye on this one, because yes, I was a note passer in high school (c/o 90). I am all about fun books too.

    1. It was definitely fun!!! I just wish it went somewhere instead of the abrupt ending.

  3. OMG. I need to read this! I just found a bunch of notes from my friends in high school. We have this board in the hall in high school where you could pin notes to friends. I guess the idea was that it discouraged passing notes during class. Who knows?! But it was super fun.

  4. I love a book told in a unique format and I like the sound of this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!