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Kale, My Ex, and Other Things to Toss in a Blender

Review

Kale, My Ex, and Other Things to Toss in a Blender

KALE, MY EX, AND OTHER THINGS TO TOSS IN A BLENDER is Lisa Greenwald’s first YA novel. She has written other books I have read and enjoyed, so I was ready to jump in.

KALE, MY EX, AND OTHER THINGS TO TOSS IN A BLENDER follows the story of Mia and Justine, two best friends, and their crazy summer. At the beginning of the summer before their senior year, Mia’s first boyfriend breaks up with her for another girl. Mia is heartbroken, but instead of getting to mope, she and Justine have to work in Justine’s rich uncle’s snow cone shop. Luckily, Justine has a plan to use the snow cone truck to stalk Mia’s ex, and create a fake Facebook profile to catfish him. When the two start an illicit smoothie business, their summer gets even wilder.

"Greenwald was able to write a story with two strong female friends without them falling out as a way to create drama….a sweet story that I would recommend for those looking for a fun summer read."

I found this story really cute! Each chapter title is the name of a smoothie, and Greenwald’s writing style helped me relate to both of the narrators. The story was quick and fun to read. There wasn’t a point where I lost interest in the plot, and even when there was no big plot motion, I didn’t get bored. I will say that the writing style may be a little young for the target audience (older teens), but I think it gave the book a playful feel.

Another aspect I really enjoyed was how there wasn’t any real drama between the two best friends. Greenwald was able to write a story with two strong female friends without them falling out as a way to create drama. Yes, their friendship was not perfect at times but it only made the story more realistic. As someone who has very strong friendships, it was refreshing to read a story where friendships weren’t jeopardized as a way to up the word count.

One thing I wished was included in the book was more buildup before Mia’s breakup. The plot is about coping with the breakup, but it would’ve been nice to see their relationship in action. Other than a few flashbacks, readers don’t see the relationship between Mia and Seth. Most of the book paints Seth negatively, so I didn’t understand why Mia loved Seth. I wish I had gotten to really feel Mia’s heartbreak.

Another thing I’d like to address about the book is that some events are very implausible. Yes, it is a fictitious novel, but some things are so unlikely it felt unnatural to read about. Throughout the book, Mia and Justine do sketchy things, and seem to face no repercussions. I liked how that aspect made it less cliché, but in real life, they probably would have faced some sort of consequence, or at least their actions would not have gone unnoticed. This is sort of a “don’t try this at home, kids” story.

Overall, I think the message of this book is really beneficial to a lot of teenagers out there --- relationships don’t define your self-worth. This book conveys the message that no matter your relationship status, you are awesome and strong and there are plenty of other people out there that can see how amazing you are, that the opinion of one person doesn’t really matter. But as empowering as this message is, I think the book handled this the wrong way. I feel like the moral was sort of downplayed by the ending. Despite the overzealous way Mia and Justine discuss the moral, they appear to forget the notion quickly after, returning to how they were before. KALE, MY EX, AND OTHER THINGS TO TOSS IN A BLENDER is a sweet story that I would recommend for those looking for a fun summer read.

One piece of advice before reading this --- Greenwald uses the term “hook up” and “make out” to mean the same thing (kissing). I was very confused when I encountered this since I’m used to those phrases meaning two very different things.

Reviewed by Rebecca N., Teen Board Member on July 11, 2017

Kale, My Ex, and Other Things to Toss in a Blender
by Lisa Greenwald