Ditched: A Love Story by Robin Mellom
Publication date: January 10th 2012.
My rating: 3.5 stars
There's a girl. Justina Griffith was never the girl who dreamed of going to prom. Designer dresses and strappy heels? Not her thing. That said, she never expected her best friend, Ian Clark, to ask her. And there's a boy. Ian, who always passed her the baseball bat, handle first. Ian, who knew exactly when she needed red licorice. Ian, who promised her the most amazing night at prom. Then there's a ditch. But when Justina is ditched, figuratively and literally, she must piece together--stain-by-stain on her thrift store dress--exactly how she ended up dateless...with only the help of some opinionated ladies at the 7-Eleven. To get the whole store, Justina will have to face the boy who ditched her. Can losing out at her prom ultimately lead to finding true love?
What I enjoyed about this book.
Jasprit: I enjoyed that Ditched wasn’t your typical read. I assumed that it would be a cute, light and fluffy read, but it actually had a deeper meaning behind the story. A story of a girl who at times could be annoying, but was trying her utmost hardest to lose this reputation that nearly everyone held of her for so long and have a good time with her prom date Ian. I enjoyed watching Justina’s character development and my opinion of her change too. But mostly what I enjoyed was how this story was told. We were given snippets into Justina’s prom night via the stains or marks she was left with from the unfortunate night. There were some nice pretty pictures starting each chapter off and then we’d get a back story into what each stain represented. I enjoyed guessing what each stain could represent and then learning the back story behind each one.
Donna: I have to agree with Jasprit on this one. Ditched: A Love Story wasn’t your typical read. I had also assumed it would be a cute read and I had kind of already predicted how the story would go, but once I started reading, I totally had it wrong. The main character; Justina, really had to go through the ringer in order to process her feelings and of course, figure out how one of the best nights of her life goes so wrong. The love interest; Ian, comes across as a jerk to start with but as the book progresses you can see that it’s Justina that has everything mixed up. I really enjoyed how the story was told, it was through flash backs of the night while Justina was telling her story to two random women she meets and although it story dragged at times, it was still enjoyable.
What surprised you the most about this book?
Jasprit: Certain characters development over the course of the book. I especially enjoy a story more when I initially make quick assumptions about a particular character, but then as the story progresses, the characters end up taking me by surprise and changing my original assumptions I had completely. This happened to me with quite a few characters in Ditched.
Donna: Definitely the humour and the amount of crazy in this book. Robin Mellon gives our main character a fantastic personality – she’s bold and brave, she’s not afraid to say what she thinks (this isn’t including Ian because come on, all girls get nervous around boys, lol) but she’s a teenage girl that just really wants a fantastic night and because of that, it’s makes her do crazy things. Each character we are introduced comes with another crazy idea and I liked reading about it.
Jasprit: When Justina, the two Mike’s, Serenity and Bliss go to try and track the rest of the party down. This entire scene was like a character building process for Justina. She was forced to spend time with girls who she normally wouldn’t have spent time with and had been judgemental about, but from spending time with them, she learned that they were girls with really helpful ideas and opinions.
Donna: When Justina really learns what Ian feels for her, he turns up to aka rescue her and it’s a really sweet moment in front of a lot of witnesses.
Jasprit: Ian, he was a character who we hardly got to see much of in this story, but learning about the things he did or said through other characters definitely helped me to hold his character in high regard. Unlike Justina I wasn’t quick to make bad assumptions about his character, I was patient enough to wait out for the truth, which I’m glad that I did, as it certainly paid off in the end.
Donna: I’d love to say Ian because he was a great love interest but he didn’t really get much of a spotlight, so I’ll go with Justina, because I loved her as a person. She makes mistakes like any normal teenager does and I loved that not everything wasn’t perfect in her world.
Jasprit: “Ian was the guy who would call to check in on me three days before my period started because he knew I’d be acting erratic, even though I explained it was perfectly normal for a girl to curl up in bed with a hot water bottle. One day, he finally realized I didn’t need his emotional support; I just needed licorice and Motrin. But what I loved most about our friendship was the way he said my name... always dripping with adoration. And annoyance. I had always figured that’s what had drawn Ian to me. My adorably low tolerance for PMS mixed with my annoying all-black wardrobe. It was sexy to him.”
“That one”, I said, pointing to a punk Tinker Bell with ripped wings and fishnets and combat boots. She was the spitting image of me. She was supposed to be sweet and beautiful, but she was ripped and torn.
“Ian did look good the day he wore that green shirt, it was true. But it wasn’t the shirt that changed everything. It was the licorice and Motrin. He knew when I most needed help. He always gave me what I needed. Peanut butter cookie. Daisy ring. That crease. It never was the green shirt.”
Donna: “All I could think about was throwing something at her— something made of glass. Or spikes. Or a viral disease. They really should invent Herpes In A Jar for moments like these”
"It's true. I'm not that girl anymore. And there will be a time when I'll be The Girl. It is all about timing--and one day when I'm not planning it, and organizing it and strangling it, love will become possible. There won't be any more leapfrogging. We'll land in the exact spot at the same precise moment. And I will wait."
General thoughts and final rating
Jasprit: 3.5 stars. Ditched was more than just a book with a fluffy, sweet cover, it was a novel about a girl on a journey to discover herself, but ultimately just have a good time with her prom date. It was sad that Justina’s prom night didn’t end up being as one that she would remember in the years to come, but did result in her being a better person in the end.
Donna: 3 stars. Ditched: A Love Story was a quirky and fun read, one that really takes you on a journey of self-discovery and first love. I really enjoyed it and although Justina’s night wasn’t what her and us as readers wanted it to be for her, I think she got so much more from that night that she will cherish even more.