Book Review: The Mall by Megan McCafferty

PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge Prompt:  N/A Other PS 2020 reading prompts this would satisfy: A book that's published in 2020...

PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge Prompt: N/A

Other PS 2020 reading prompts this would satisfy: A book that's published in 2020, A bildungsroman

TW: Slut-shaming, misogyny, allusions to sexual assault

Without even reading the synopsis for The Mall, I knew I wanted to read it. I love the nostalgia of the mall. I worked at the mall for several years, and I love movies and shows about the mall, and season three of Stranger Things was maybe my favorite (see my visit to filming locations here). Not to mention, for years my ringtone was Robin Sparkles' Let's Go to the Mall (if you know, you know). And while there was some sweet nostalgia and a fun scavenger hunt, this book unfortunately just did not hit for me.

Cassie Worthy is ready for the best summer of her life. She's recently mended from a bout of mono, and she's ready to spend her last summer before college alongside her perfect boyfriend working together at America's Best Cookie. But that plan abruptly comes to an end when she meets her boyfriend's new girlfriend and gets fired from her job that she's yet to even start. But when a discovery is found in the mall that leads Cassie on a scavenger hunt, she begins to figure out what's really important and who she really is.

I really wanted to love this book. It was relatable to me because I worked in a mall for a while, but I found the book to be really insensitive at times. The MC often refers to herself as a feminist, all the while calling other girls sluts or ugly. It really just didn't line up. And because of that, I couldn't fully appreciate the rest of the book.

I did enjoy the scavenger hunt and the nostalgic bits, but the book just seemed so hateful in ways that really bothered me. The writing itself was fun and really felt very 90s. It reminded me of the Sweet Valley High books in that way.

"If we put history totally behind us... how do we learn anything about ourselves?" - The Mall, Megan McCafferty

Honestly, lots of potential in this book but it just bothered me too much by claiming feminism and pinning all the female characters against each other.

Goodreads rating: ★★★☆☆

*I received a digital review copy of this book from Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

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