The Blonde Bookworm: Folded Notes from High School by Matt Boren -- Review

Folded Notes from High School by Matt Boren -- Review

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Title: Folded Notes from High School 
Author: Matt Boren 
Pages: 400
Publishing: April 3rd 2018 by Razorbill


A status-obsessed senior unexpectedly falls for a freshman because of his Danny Zuko audition in their high school's production of Grease in this epistolary novel set in 1991.

It's 1991, and Tara Maureen Murphy is finally on top. A frightening cross between Regina George and Tracy Flick, Tara Maureen Murphy is any high school's worst nightmare, bringing single-minded ambition, narcissism, manipulation, and jealousy to new extremes. She's got a hot jock boyfriend in Christopher Patrick Caparelli, her best friend Stef Campbell by her side, and she's a SENIOR, poised to star as Sandy in South High's production of Grease. Cinching the role is just one teensy step in Tara's plot to get out of her hometown and become the Broadway starlet she was born to be. She's grasping distance from the finish line--graduation and college are right around the corner--but she has to remain vigilant. It gets trickier with the arrival of freshman Matthew Bloom, whose dazzling audition for the role of Danny Zuko turns Tara's world upside down. Freshmen belong in the chorus, not the spotlight! But Tara's outrage is tinged with an unfamiliar emotion, at least to her: adoration. And what starts as a conniving ploy to "mentor" young Matt quickly turns into a romantic obsession that threatens to topple Tara's hard-won status at South High....


I went into this novel expecting a major blast from the past full of nostalgic feelings and 90's vibes, but that's not exactly how it went down. Tara truly is (as the first sentence in the synopsis states) a status-obsessed senior and her attitude and manipulative personality was a little hard to take. I was really excited for this novel because I wanted a little trip down memory lane, but what I got was a flashback of all the mean girls from high school. 

Don't get me wrong, the novel is full of delicious and entertaining drama, but it became a little redundant at times, and I had a hard time really getting into it. I definitely wanted to know how the story would end, but I didn't find myself really liking or relating to any of the characters. 

All in all, the story was entertaining, but I was expecting so much more. I would recommend this for an easy summer read, but if you're looking for a high school throwback with lots of 90's nostalgia, this one was  lacking a little something. Thank you to Penguin Teen for sending a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating: 2.5/5


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