Being Not Good

as opposed to being bad ([Bad Boy's Guide to...] Book 1)

Young Adult - Romance
402 Pages
Reviewed on 02/28/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ammaarah Seboa for Readers' Favorite

Trashing your reputation as the school’s Goody Two Shoes should be easy, right? Under the premise of “dating”, Elizabeth Stevens’ Being Not Good follows high school student Avery St John as she seeks the help of the school’s infamous bad boy, Davin Ambrose, to be not good. Avery depicts your typical high school girl with a bubbly personality, while Davin is her polar opposite with his morally grey nature. Although I have come across male characters similar to him, I was not prepared to meet Davin. He embodied an old soul with a love for literature. Think of the After Series’ Hardin Scott, but without the alcoholism. If you love broody and sarcastic heroes, this one is for you!

A few tropes this novel centers on include bad boy-good girl romance, friends to lovers, high school, and in a way coming of age. Usually, in dual-POVs, the style of writing for each character more or less stays consistent. However, that’s not the case with Elizabeth Stevens’ Being Not Good. Stevens’ style of writing changes to present each character’s mental maturity and we are able to witness first-hand how their minds work. Stevens also breaks the elusive fourth wall between the reader and the character of Davin Ambrose. This is seen when Davin appears to be addressing a third party, whose identity is not disclosed to us. The overall plot and character growth were well developed. You see them step outside their comfort zones and overcome their obstacles. The situations presented had a realistic feel to them and it was refreshing to see how these characters were able to deal with the issues presented to them and grow. If you love brooding and sarcastic heroes, this one’s for you!