Blurb from the back of the book:
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.
About the author:
Megan McCafferty writes fiction for tweens, teens and teens-at-heart of all ages. The author of several novels, she’s best known for Sloppy Firsts and several more books in the New York Times bestselling Jessica Darling series. Described in her first review as “Judy Blume meets Dorothy Parker” (Wall Street Journal), she’s been trying to live up to that high standard ever since.
This review is spoiler free.
eARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Content warnings: sex between minors, referenced slut shaming, referenced sexual assault, cheating
Hi, friends! Welcome to my first ever blog tour? This is so exciting, I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be included in this, so many other awesome bloggers are also on this tour and I have loved reading their posts. Anywho, let’s jump on into the review.
The Mall takes place in the summer of 1991, when Cassie Worthy is just trying to make some money off of her minimum wage job to save up before she and her boyfriend go to college where they will continue The Plan to get on with the rest of their lives. But when everything about The Plan comes crashing down around her, Cassie finds herself reuniting with an old friend, finding allies in unexpected people, and joining a treasure hunt for a hidden fortune.
While there were a few minor things I wasn’t a fan of, such as the minor slut shaming and negative descriptions of other women and how the ending seemed slightly rushed, but other than that I absolutely loved this book, so let’s just jump into a list of all of the things I liked about this book!
The way Cassie pushed herself back out there after all of her plans came crashing down. Personally, I would have just hid in my room for the rest of the summer whether I needed the money or not. Cassie, however, went back out looking for more jobs so that she could keep as much of her plan as she could. Sure, she was a bit of a mess, but who wouldn’t be in that situation?
The whole setting of a mall. I have never lived near a booming mall (there in one in town but it has had the same four stores since I was like six so) so I don’t have all of the common memories of hanging out with friends in one during the summer, but I still really loved how this entire book gave off those vibes. I loved when the characters went around to other random stores in the mall because it made it so much easier to picture it all in my head, plus all of the side characters were so much fun to learn about.
How much I related to Cassie. Cassie was on what was essentially a quiz bowl team in high school, which is basically what I was on in high school and I have never read about a character in a book participating in one of those before so it was super cool. I also related to suddenly graduating high school and somewhat panicking about everything and what went wrong, ever since I have been out of high school I have just been looking back and going “oh I should have done this or that.”
The treasure hunt. While this wasn’t like, the most major part of the plot of this novel, I still loved it a lot. I didn’t know going in that we would have a subplot of finding hidden treasure in the mall, so it was a very pleasant surprise. I love the idea of finding clues hidden in random stores leading to the lost fortune of a mall founder, it is one of those fictional plots that you can somewhat see happening in your real life and I have always found that one of the most magical parts of reading.
Overall, I absolutely loved this book. It was such a fun summer read, and there is still time for you to get it in before the summer ends!! It is available now, you can buy it here.
But, you don’t have to just take my word for it, here are some quotes from critics!!
“The Mall was to 1991 teenagers what the iPhone is to today’s generation: EVERYTHING. This delightful novel about that particular time and place is loaded with fun, warmth, intelligence, big hair and an even bigger heart. I loved it.” — New York Times bestselling author Rachel Cohn
“Both a laugh-out-loud pean to those bygone cathedrals of the 1990s, and a zippy coming-of-age tale, THE MALL is a delightful read for any generation. So tease your hair, grab your hotdog on a stick and prepare to have a freaking blast!” — Gayle Forman, New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay and I Have Lost My Way
“What a pleasure it is to spend time in a McCafferty universe. Her writing is sharp, smart, sexy and oh- so-real. I’ll read her forever.” — Rebecca Serle, New York Times bestselling author of In Five Years
“Totally rad! This former 1990s mall teen loved The Mall, an ode to tall bangs, boys with good taste in music, and female friendship, set in the only place that mattered. What a joy to have a new book from Megan McCafferty, who knows exactly how to make us laugh, cry, and fall in love with her characters.” — Amy Spalding, author of The Summer of Jordi Perez and The New Guy
“A delightful, funny, sweet and affecting real life adventure with such a big heart, it’ll make you cry the happiest tears. The Mall is something special.” — Courtney Summers, New York Times bestselling author of Sadie