Over You

Book review by
Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media
Over You Book Poster Image
Fluffy romantic read from Nanny Diaries authors has heart.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Good choice for reluctant readers, especially romantic girls who will be swept up in the story about getting over heartbreak.

Positive Messages

Mostly fun fluff, but sharp readers will get the point: Emotional pain is part of the "the spectrum of being human" -- and the best relationships happen when you're strong enough to stand on your own.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Max doesn't always act perfectly -- or have the exact right advice -- but her heart is in the right place as she tries to help girls get over their heartbreak. She works hard to get what she wants (even when it means putting herself in a vulnerable position) and is willing to admit when she's wrong.

Violence
Sex

Nothing explicit, but Max does spend the night with her rich boyfriend. Also brief references to other sexy situations (like Max showing up at her boyfriend's house naked under her coat and accidently exposing herself to the garbageman). After they break up, Max kissses another boy. Heartbroken clients discuss hand jobs, pornography, and a sexy picture.

Language

Mature language sprinkled throughout includes "f--k," "ho," "bulls--t," and some creative swear word derivatives, such as "a--holic."

Consumerism

Lots of label-dropping, including Estee Lauder, Teen Vogue, Burberry, Lululemon, Catherine Herrera, and iPhone, as well as snacks like Vitamin Water Zero, Red Bull, Coke, Ritter Sport, Pop Tarts, KFC. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teen characters drink and go to unsupervised parties with alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Over You features some sexual situations, swearing, and alcohol use. Max spends the night with her boyfriend and recalls other sexy situations (like showing up at his house naked under her coat and accidently exposing herself to the garbageman). Some serious kissing, and teen characters discuss hand jobs, pornography, and a sexy picture. Also, Max's best (male) friend is gay and in a relationship with another man. There are also lots of labels, from Burberry and Lululemon to Red Bull and KFC -- and some swear words, including "f--k." Teen characters drink and go to unsupervised parties with alcohol. Max calls coffee "liquid optimism" and encourages other teens to drink it.

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What's the story?

After Max's rich, handsome boyfriend breaks up with her, she's devastated and leaves boarding school. Now living with her mother in New York City, Max uses her personal pain to start a new business: helping girls get over their heartaches. At Ex Inc., Max's revolutionary program includes taking her clients kickboxing, ridding their rooms of ex-boyfriend evidence, and more, including a final face-off with their ex-boyfriends. This highly orchestrated \"Moment\" involves make-up, styling, and the heartbroken girl's chance to show off a new skill that will leave her old boyfriend realizing what he's missing -- and her realizing that she's truly over him. But Max hasn't yet dealt with her own bad break-up and may lose her self-esteem, her business -- and a new boy crush -- when her ex surprises her by moving to New York, too.

Is it any good?

There's nothing too deep or surprising in OVER YOU, but it's fun fluff from the authors of the popular The Nanny Diaries. This isn't literature, but it's a fast, enticing read and a fine choice for reluctant readers. Romantic teen girls, especially, will be swept up in this story about getting over heartbreak (and being brave enough to try again). Inspired parents could even use it to spark some important conversations about love and romance -- and whether teen guys and girls have the same expectations.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the authors, who also wrote the popular The Nanny Diaries. Did knowing they wrote Over You influence your decision to read it? If you've read The Nanny Diaries, what similarities -- and differences -- do you see?

  • What do you think of Max's belief that guys are more likely to fear commitment and break up with girls for no real reason? Is that accurate/realistic?

  • What do you think of the ideas about love and romance put forth in Over You? Do you agree or disagree with them?

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