Posted in Reviews

Blog Tour – Review: The Mall

Good morning and happy Sunday, my lovely readers! I hope you’re all having an excellent weekend. ❤
Today I am so excited and honored to be participating in the blog tour for Megan McCafferty’s newest book, The Mall. This is the first story that I ever read from this auhtor, but I’m so glad to say that I enjoyed it!!
This novel will be on sale this Tuesday, July 28th! 

The Mall by Megan McCafferty
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary
Pages: 320
Publication Date: July 2020
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Read May 2020

Goodreads Synopsis:
New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty returns to her roots with this YA coming of age story set in a New Jersey mall.

The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.
But you know what they say about the best laid plans…
Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places. Megan McCafferty, beloved New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Mall is a quick and lively coming-of-age tale set at a shopping mall in the ‘90s. It’s unique, fun, and sure to put a smile on your face!

I really, really loved the setting of this story. The choice to keep the entirety of this novel set in the shopping mall was a really unique decision, and in my opinion, it was brilliant. I loved visiting all of the different stores, but even more than that, I ADORED watching the way that the employees from different stores interacted with one another!
Something that I think would have been a very cool addition to the book is a map of the mall! Books that have maps in them are the elite. It makes the world, or in this case, the mall, seem so much more realistic and immersive!

As a nineteen year old, I could not relate well to the nineties nostalgia of the book. I understood all of the references – I mean, Cabbage Patch dolls were popular when I was young too (which is rather unfortunate because those things are anything but cute), and I’ve worn and loved scrunchies for my entire life – but other than being fun and refreshing, the ‘90s setting didn’t really do all that much for me. However, I feel that this will certainly be an element that anyone who grew up in this era will really enjoy!

This book had very short chapters, which was something that I absolutely adored. It made for a fantastic, quick pace that consistently kept me engaged and on the edge of my seat.
I also very much appreciated the fact that the chapters had titles, which were often witty to boot, and that is unfortunately something that I very rarely see in YA books these days. It’s a real shame because titled chapters make everything better, in my opinion. 

The mystery aspect of this story was fun and intriguing, not to mention totally unexpected! The treasure hunt added a really exciting twist to the book, but I wish we had gotten a little bit more emphasis on it. In all honesty, the ending of the hunt was a little unsatisfying for me.
I did very much enjoy moving from deciphering the clues and traveling from store to store in the mall with the girls, though!

I had expected this novel to have a heavier emphasis on romance than it actually did, which I as a huge romance fan, I was initially disappointed by. Upon further reflection, however, I think it was a wise and realistic choice. A lot of teenagers don’t actually have relationships or fall in love in high school, so it’s really so much more refreshing and relatable to find a YA story that focuses more on personal growth and friendships than a big, dramatic love story. I got so swept up in the thrill of the treasure hunt, and watching Cassie’s personal growth and friendships that I honestly didn’t miss having a romance one bit. 

The writing style of this book was very unique. It was written in past tense first person, but also as though the protagonist is directly speaking with you.
For instance: Wood World was the only store at the mall devoted to the boner arts. Ha! Get it? Gotcha! Just joshing! Wood World sold quality woodcrafts but whee! That’s how giddy I felt – giddy enough to come up with a dumb dick joke with no one to share it with.

An element of this book that I really enjoyed was the humour. This story ended up being way funnier than I had been anticipating, There were countless moments that had me laughing out loud, which helped shape this book into such an easy and light-hearted read! Here are a few examples:

With the tiniest push of a pinky, I sent my ex sprawling backward into the massage chair – for all I knew – he might be to this very day.

”It didn’t seem random,” I said.
“She screamed, ‘Die, Mono Bitch.’”
“What?” Troy asked. “Are you sure?”
I held my head under the faucet, swished water around my mouth, and spit it out. “Yeah. I’m sure.”
“No, it was definitely: ‘Try Melon Spritz,” Troy replied. “Maybe the mono damaged your eardrums.”

Furthermore, having read The Mall while in quarantine due to the coronavirus, it was oddly ironic that the protagonist had just emerged from self-isolation at home because she had caught mono.
After six weeks of quarantine, I was finally reunited with my boyfriend, Troy. […]
But  forty-three days of social isolation and physical deprivation had taken a major toll. 

(Oh, how I wish that this quarantine only lasted 43 days…)

Can we all take a minute to appreciate the cover?!? It’s bright, unique, and fun, which I think perfectly encompasses this story! I feel like many of the covers for recent YA contemporary releases have been very similar, and as much as I do enjoy an illustrated cover, it’s getting a little boring. This one really stands out and I appreciate how original it is. 

All in all, this was a quick, atmospheric, and zesty coming-of-age tale with a focus on friendship and self-discovery! 

I would definitely recommend this book to fans of Sarah Dessen because this novel shared a similar vibe to her work. This story had the same fun, summery feel, except this was a lot less romance-heavy than many of Sarah Dessen’s more popular books.

If you would like to read an excerpt of The Mall, you can click the link below!! 
Click here to read the first chapter of The Mall.


You can purchase a copy of The Mall here.

You can visit Megan McCafferty on Twitter here.


Is The Mall on your TBR?
Have you read any of Megan McCafferty’s other books? Which one should I read next?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments down below!

Thank you so much for joining me today! I hope you enjoyed!
See you again soon!! ❤

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