The Way to Game the Walk of Shame is an easy, summer read.
Book Review: The Way to Game the Walk of Shame
Title & Author: The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary
Release Date: June 7, 2016
How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher
Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip.
Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they’re in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it’s better to be the girl who tames the wild surfer than just another notch on his surfboard.”
I picked up The Way to Game the Walk of Shame because I was curious how the premise would play out. The whole “boyfriend for hire” or “pretend boyfriend” trope has definitely been done in YA contemporary (see: The Fill-In Boyfriend, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before).
What I found in this book was a fun, simple story. The plot plays out exactly as the description says – Taylor wants the gossip at school to stop after it gets around she and Evan made out at a party, so they find a mutually beneficial arrangement/contract to fix it.
Honestly, I was hoping for a little more. With the Kasie West or Jenny Han contemporaries with similar premises, there was more than meets the eye.
You saw the characters’ deeper struggles or challenges. You see that there’s more than just the obvious situation presented to add dimension to the story.
Unfortunately, The Way to Game the Walk of Shame doesn’t offer up the same kind of growth or character richness.
For example, Taylor just wants her classmates to stop talking about her so she can go back to being invisible and focus on her grades. But what does Evan get out of it? A better reputation (because the contract states no sleeping around while they’re together)?
I mean, there are no stakes for Evan! Other than holding hands with a pretty girl, he doesn’t really get a lot out of the contract, and I struggled with that the whole time while reading.
This is an easy read – it’s quick with a solid romantic build-up. The other characters in the story – like Taylor’s friend Carly – are cardboard cut-outs and are merely there to push the two main characters together. Pretty disappointing.
This book is all about expectations. Do you want a summer romance read? Then give this book a shot.
Do you like your contemporaries with depth and room for character development? Then skip this one.
This book is best described as lighthearted without substance. The Way to Game the Walk of Shame wasn’t remotely a slam dunk (forgive the sportsball term) for me, so read with caution.