Deciding to actually read Cole Gibsen's latest new book was an extremely risky decision for me: I am, by no means, a contemporary reader (why I'm avoiding New Adult a lot), and telling Cole (or any author) that I hated her latest book is not something I would actually like to do...
I find that Life Unaware wasn't so daunting after all. In fact, after looking past the little peeves I have against some people in the world, Gibsen's debut contemporary is actually one of those extremely rare contemporaries that I enjoyed reading (the other one I believe is John Green's The Fault in Our Stars).
Life Unaware is actually written not necessarily from the person being bullied, but the bully herself getting a taste of her own medicine. For years Regan Flay has been popular at her school, looked up to and respected by her fellow peers. Little did anyone else aside from her close circle of friends that she spent her time digging up dirt about her classmates, until one day, Regan finds all of her private messages posted on the lockers at school.
For the first few chapters, I just couldn't stand Regan. She seemed stuck up, annoying, spoiled – basically just another missing part of the Mean Girls clique (that movie was highly annoying as well) – and the only thing I probably liked about Regan was the mere fact that I pitied and felt sorry for her. Underneath all her "rot," Regan was just a normal person with a mother who spent 99% of her time in politics and harping over Regan in her free time.
Basically, Regan just had a lot of extremely high expectations that I could surprisingly relate to in terms of choosing a college and a major. I didn't win on the college part (that battle now includes having to get a 30 or higher on my ACT to go to a university or I'm stuck at community college), but I did win (sort of) in choosing a major... by going the harder route, famously known as double major.
High expectations aside, enter Nolan Letner. Ex-popular, artistic, and bottom of the social ladder – a completely opposite spectrum to Regan until her private messages are revealed for the entire school to see. Nolan doesn't really play much of a role in Life Unaware, aside from being Regan's only "support" when her entire life flipped upside down before her eyes.
But despite the fact Nolan doesn't actually play a really huge role, he definitely brings out Regan's true side – the side that seems much more natural for Regan rather something forced from her mother over the years. Nolan also helps Regan turn her life back around, helping and encouraging her throughout several parts in the book to become a better person than she was before at the very beginning.
Life Unaware does eventually go for a darker turn before having a happily ever after vibe – sorry, no spoilers. While this is completely different from her other books, I do applaud Cole Gibsen for writing a well-written contemporary novel dealing with bullying and the after-effects.
It was her love of superheroes that first inspired her to pick up a pen. Her favorite things to write about are ordinary girls who find themselves in extraordinary situations.