Life By Committee by Corey Ann Haydu | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Life By Committee by Corey Ann Haydu | Book ReviewLife by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
Also by this author: Making Pretty
Published by HarperCollins on 2014-05-13
Genres: Family, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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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 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.

I kind of want to start this review of Life By Committee by Corey Ann Haydu by thanking Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner for telling me to read this book. Jamie, that was a solid recommendation. Guys, this book won’t be for everyone. There are BAD LIFE CHOICES but at the same time, there’s character growth and learning and books and coffee and writing, ah, sigh. Listen, the tag line makes me cringe: “Secret: I kissed someone else’s boyfriend. Assignment: Do it again.” It makes me cringe because cheating is kind of the absolute worst. But, instead of keeping this in my never ever pile, I gave it a shot because Jamie said yo, read this book. But not quite with a yo. Also, because of the bright cover, because I am a cover magpie.

Tabitha used to have two best friends, Jemma and I don’t even remember her name, some girl lol. Her two best friends ditch her when she gets hot and develops a chest and starts dressing in a way that flaunts what she has. Essentially, her best friends suck. Anyways, Tabitha has adjusted to this by developing this deep online friendship with this guy who goes to her school, Joe. Joe tells her that he is totally falling for her. Which in any other universe would be awesome, but as Tabitha’s luck would have it, he’s attached to a girlfriend named Sasha who is artsy and weird. Tabitha’s luck is about to change though. You see, she’s about to join this very small online community called ‘Life By Committee’ where you have to tell a secret to still be in the group and protect your secrets. Then, after telling the secret you have to complete an assignment designed by this guy named Zed. As Tab gets into Life By Committee, her life seriously begins to change and she gains all sorts of confidence.

Why I Was Into This Book

  1. Tabitha is a hot mess. Seriously, I just want to take this girl aside and give her a talking to about her life choices. I want to tell her that her old friends are the worst. I would love to tell her, LISTEN, if some dude is willing to cheat on his girlfriend to be with you then he’s probably going to do the same to you. He’s not worth it.
  2. Tabitha’s best friend Elise is totally awesome and happens to be a lesbian. She listens to Tabitha, but also calls her out when she’s making bad choices. However, she’s also smart enough to know that ultimately, she can’t change Tabitha’s mind.
  3. Paul and Cate are Tabitha’s parents and they are young and hip and run a coffee house. Cate is pregnant. Paul is a stoner. They aren’t shunted off to the side, but play a rather important role in this book.
  4. Tabitha is into reading. Guys, she makes me want to try her style of reading where she marks a book all up and puts notes in the margin like she’s having a conversation with the book. THAT IS SO COOL.
  5. Life By Committee makes me cringe, much like thinking about my teenage years. While the concept is kind of preposterous, I felt there was authenticity to this book in that teens are going to do what they want to do no matter how much you, as an adult, are like hey kid examine your choices. Tabitha makes mistakes, but she learns from them and I like that. I don’t know about you guys, but when I was a teenager I was awkward and weird and I made some not so smart choices. So yeah, good on this book for being painful but real.

Why You Should Just Give It A Chance

Before you Fred Savage this book because of the cheating storyline, realize that Corey Ann Haydu does an awesome job making Tabitha someone you can empathize with, even if she doesn’t come out of this smelling like a rose. Realize that the writing, especially about books, will make you want to dog ear the pages. Realize that Life By Committee is a pretty unique concept, as far as the involvement of the internet in a teenager’s life choices. I just really enjoyed Life By Committee and totally recommend it as long as you know that we’re all in on Tabitha’s BAD IDEAS.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I have no issues with books revolving around cheating, and I also don’t mind bad life choices if the characters eventually learns something or manages to get their life together despite the odds. I am definitely going to read this now (I also adore the bright cover!)

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

  2. I personally really loved this book, and I hate cheating storylines. But it’s hard not to connect with Tabitha and understand a bit where she’s coming from even as you cringe at all the bad choices she’s making.

  3. Teenagers cheat. It’s not like they are married, they make all KINDS of mistakes, including cheating, because they are still figuring out that relationship stuff. If you’re going to read realistic YA fiction, but you avoid any book about cheating, you aren’t being, well, realistic!

    I understand why people avoid cheating in adult novels (all though believe me THAT’S realistic too!) but I work with teens every day, and believe me, it’s part of their lives. It’s part of growing up.

    I haven’t read this one yet, but I’m planning to. I’ve heard good things, including your great review.

    Just my two cents…

  4. I loved this book too! Your review totally covered all the reasons this book is a must-read. Loved the flawed characters and the Post Secret vibe!

  5. Well now that you and Jamie have both loved this book, I’m adding it to my wishlist.

    Sidenote: And I love your comment about writing in books and highlighting stuff. I really thought about this the other day too…. but I’m too chicken to do it. Maybe Tabitha will help me get over the fear and be able to love books more because of her ability to do this.

    🙂 Thanks for the awesome review!

  6. One of the best things about Life By Committee is that Tabitha is a character with both good and bad traits, which makes her seem like someone you’d know in real life and could relate to. I thought it was part of what made this book so great! Plus, the entire concept of that website was interesting and certainly something I reflected on. Glad you enjoyed it!


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