I don’t often write reviews for books that I have DNF’d, but this one wound me up so much, I just had to.
To begin with, I was really enjoying the book. There are a lot of characters that it focuses on, but I found it really easy to follow since the list that the whole book is based off is right at the front of the book. It made it easy to flick back to when I got stuck on who’s who.
I was really into it! I’ve heard it being compared to Pretty Little Liars, which I couldn’t really see, but I could see it making a really good teen movie. If anything, it reminded me a lot more of One of Us is Lying.
But after enjoying it so much, all it took was one small sentence to make me DNF it, and leave me really disappointed. I usually refuse to let books get to me, but this one really annoyed me.
“People who work in retail are, like, the lowest of the low. She hates her life.”
This was all I needed to read to make me put the book down, and go on a good rant on Twitter.
I let myself cool down after reading it, so I didn’t write a purely rant-y blog post. But I still feel like a good rant.
This should not be in a book. Any book. But especially one for teens. I work in retail, and we don’t need any more people with this mindset. We don’t need any more people to think that abusing retail workers is okay.
This quote was in a scene where a girl was trying on a prom dress and the sales assistant was asked her opinion and she told her that it didn’t look right.
Okay, this is just a book. It didn’t actually happen. But it does happen – a lot. Work in retail, and you get abuse.
In my experience, I’ve been kicked, shouted at, intimidated, verbally abused, shoved, and belittled. Retail workers have to put up with a lot. A lot. It’s by no means an easy job. How many people can keep smiling while being yelled at by a customer because they disagree with what you’re saying?
Do not preach that retail workers are nothing. Without retail workers, you wouldn’t be able to get your groceries. You wouldn’t be able to treat yourself to a new book. You wouldn’t even be in there, trying on that prom dress.
And a book review shouldn’t turn into a rant about my experiences of working in retail, but this scene in The List is completely unneeded, and damaging.
It’s sad that this was in a book that I was enjoying. And I’m shocked that I’ve never seen any other reviews mentioning this.
So to finish:
Authors, please remember that people who work in retail are humans with feelings too. Retail workers are the people who sell your books for you. And they sell you the food you eat. And everything in your house.
We are humans. And we are definitely a lot more than nothing.
Paperback, 336 pages, published by Push, £7.99