Bad Taste in Men by Lana Cooper
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: December 18, 2013
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Have you ever felt like even Mother Theresa has got more game than you?
If you have, you'd be in the same boat as geeky, awkward metalhead Nova Porter.
Bad Taste In Men follows Nova from her prepubescent years through young adulthood and her attempts at getting dudes to dig her.
Juggling self-esteem issues, small town outsider status, and questionable taste in guys, Nova is looking for love in all the wrong places - like the food court at the mall. Nova's circle of friends and her strange(ly) endearing family more than make up for what her love life lacks.
Along the way, Nova alternately plays the roles of hero and villain, mastermind and stooge; picking up far more valuable life lessons than numbers for her little black book.
One part chick lit for tomboys and one part Freaks and Geeks for kids who came of age in the mid-'90s, Bad Taste In Men is loaded (like a freight train) with pop cultural references and crude humor.
From getting laughed at by your crush to being stood up (twice!) by a guy with one eye, Bad Taste In Men showcases the humor and humiliation that accompanies the search for love (or at least "like") as a small-town teenage outcast, managing to wring heart-warming sweetness from angsty adolescent memories - and jokes about barf and poop.
"Bad Taste in Men" by Lana Cooper can best be described as a "fictional memoir". It's a work of fiction that follows Cooper's main character, Nova, from her preteen years through adulthood and her journey to find love. Unfortunately for Nova, the journey is far from a smooth one and the reader goes along with the character and all of her mishaps and heartbreaks.
Nova is an interesting character. She lives in small town
, but is
a complete metal head that's not afraid to be loud and make dirty jokes at
every opportunity. These qualities make her a bit of an outcast in town as well
as school, and that's one more challenge that she has to overcome on her way to
finally finding a boyfriend. America
Another difficulty of Nova's is that she's looking for love in all of the wrong places. More than once she tries to turn a friend relationship into something more, and ends up ruining the friendship from trying to force something that's not there. Also "Bad Taste in Men" really isn't just a title. Nova's taste is HORRIBLE. The poor girl can't help but to fall for deadbeats and guys who treat her poorly. At times as a reader I felt bad for her, and there were other times when her taste was just so wrong that it was humorous.
While the book is mostly a journey as Nova goes through life and finding one guy and then the next, there are a few guys who keep popping up throughout the chapters. I liked that some of the old names would come back later on in the book because it made it all seem more real. In real life you can't help but run into your past every now and then, and Nova's past crushes coming back to taunt or torment her was good for her story.
When I first started reading "Bad Taste in Men", it took me awhile to get into the book. A big part of the reason was that I didn't really like Nova at the beginning. She was loud, obnoxious, and I could see why she didn't have a boyfriend. At the start of the story Nova is still pretty young, and as a result she comes off as childish and is a bit grating. However, since this story spans years of her life it has to start that way. We see Nova grow up from that obnoxious preteen into an adult who knows who she is and what she wants.
Once Nova and the story grew up a bit (and it didn't take too long), I really got into the book. I found myself rooting for Nova and hoping that she would find what she was looking for (I'm not going to tell you what happens on that front, you'll have to find out for yourself!) as she went through life.
As much as this is a humor book about Nova's mishaps of love, it's also a coming of age story. She has to find herself and figure out who she is going to be as a person, and until that is finished she can't fully find someone to be in a relationship with. I would recommend "Bad Taste in Love" to anyone who's looking for a fun and funny read.
Lana Cooper was born and raised in Scranton, PA and currently resides in Philadelphia. A graduate of Temple University, she doesn't usually talk about herself in the first person, but makes an exception when writing an author bio.
Cooper has written extensively on a variety of pop culture topics and has been a critic for such sites as PopMatters and Ghouls On Film. She's also written news stories for EDGE Media, a leading nationwide network devoted to LGBT news and issues.
Cooper enjoys spending time with her family, reading comic books, books with lots of words and no pictures, and avoiding eye-contact with strangers on public transportation. "Bad Taste In Men" is her first full-length novel.