The Mall
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.

The Mall Details

TitleThe Mall
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 9th, 2020
PublisherWednesday Books
ISBN-139781250209955
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary

The Mall Review

  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Hmmm… When somebody told me, why don’t we take an exciting tour to travel around 90’s memory lane so you got the references easily from your childhood and some part of teenage era: I answered myself ( yes, I don’t have an intellectual imaginary friend and I’m not drunk enough so I offered myself a tour and I took it): “Why not!”Results: Going back to time, Matthew Broderick is still young and dated Jennifer Grey who was playing his sister on the movie: Yes you got it right: Ferris Bueller days Hmmm… When somebody told me, why don’t we take an exciting tour to travel around 90’s memory lane so you got the references easily from your childhood and some part of teenage era: I answered myself ( yes, I don’t have an intellectual imaginary friend and I’m not drunk enough so I offered myself a tour and I took it): “Why not!”Results: Going back to time, Matthew Broderick is still young and dated Jennifer Grey who was playing his sister on the movie: Yes you got it right: Ferris Bueller days or day off. (Later it turned into a show with new cast members and it sucked!) 90210 was still good, the characters were still young, annoying but relatable, they didn’t fire Shannen Doherty yet and we’re still listening mixtapes, singing Madonna’s songs, doing loco-motions with Kylie, watching bad romance between Maddie and David on Moonlighting (Yes, Bruce Willis had hair once upon a time and he was not a jerk, okay, he was still jerk with adorable lopsided smile) and Marky Mark is still a bad boy/worst rapper who hasn’t made disastrous Transformer movie yet.So yes, book’s time frame is right. The characters seemed interesting. Some dialogues were smart, snappy. But… yes here comes the irritating BUT part: I felt like watching a movie I gave 5 point at IMDB and wasted my time. The plot intrigued my attention: taking place in a mall, living inside Cassie Worthy’s head, seeing her making new friends, finding new job, interested in treasure hunt after surviving from a severe disease, living in quarantine, finding her boyfriend cheating on her when she was sick, getting fired from her job and of course let’s add some romantic vibes into this story. So I impressed with the start but as I resume my reading, I started to get bored with the dialogues trying so hard to be catchy but the words turns into full of clichés, illogical jargons, not so funny phrases. And of course I really wondered why Cassie had to repeat her inner screams, making “arrghhkk” sounds so much. Did she have a problem with her vocal cords or didn’t she have any idea have to express her feelings?And the characters, well, without enough back stories, it was so hard to relate with them. Maybe this story is not for me and it addresses younger generations ( at least younger than 18) but mostly I found it boring, shallow, flat and a little raw. I think the story needed more work because I felt like I ate tasteless, uncooked meal. It needed more development, work and back stories, not to be released before any rewritings or editing. I think I was expecting more from this author.So I gave 2.5 stars and for the love of 90’s soul, I rounded up to 3. But that’s it. I love some parts and I only loved the heroine but I have to say this is not my cup of happy hour drink!Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/Wednesday Books to send me this ARC COPY in exchange my honest review. I wish I could like it more.
    more
  • Tatiana
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 starsIt took me a long while to understand why I was dragging my feet for WEEKS, failing to finish a 300-page YA novel written by Megan McCafferty. I liked the premise, and McCafferty's wit was there, and yet, I just couldn't bring myself to care about any of it. And then I opened the book's copyright page, and everything clicked into place. The Mall is copyrighted to Alloy Entertainment, and then McCafferty, so basically it's unclear how much of this story was written by her, and it shows. 2.5 starsIt took me a long while to understand why I was dragging my feet for WEEKS, failing to finish a 300-page YA novel written by Megan McCafferty. I liked the premise, and McCafferty's wit was there, and yet, I just couldn't bring myself to care about any of it. And then I opened the book's copyright page, and everything clicked into place. The Mall is copyrighted to Alloy Entertainment, and then McCafferty, so basically it's unclear how much of this story was written by her, and it shows.The Mall is a 90s mall culture love letter(?). I am not exactly attached to that time, so the period isn't a big draw for me personally, and, I believe, a huge number of YA readers. But I do like McCafferty's voice, and overall the plot of The Mall is fine. After months of being sick and confined to her house, Cassie returns back to the world, or specifically, the mall, where she has a summer job to take on and a boyfriend to snuggle with. Unfortunately, nothing goes according to the plan, and Cassie immediately finds herself job- and boyfriend-less and a total wreck. What follows is a summer of finding new friends, job, love and outlook on life. And a treasure hunt. The problem with The Mall is its shallowness. There is some great dialog, and the plot is sketched out nicely with potentially interesting relationships and characters. However nothing in this world feels lived-in and real, nobody has fully written back stories or complex feelings. (Think Game of Thrones season 7 and 8!) The fact that the novel is set entirely at the mall doesn't help either. Everything is an outline, a shadow of something. The story reads almost like a movie script. Some good acting might be able to add dimension to this very flat book. And this is where Alloy Entertainment comes in. It's a book packaging company. Their books are team-written and are meant to be movie- or tv-bound IPs, like Gossip Girl or Vampire Diaries. This is where, I think, the shallowness of The Mall stems from. I don't know if McCafferty novelized an already existing book outline, or if other people wrote some of this novel, but The Mall just doesn't feel complete and fully realized. This book doesn't have a beating heart. This kind of properties never work for me, but I bet this book will find some fans. Had I known this was a book packaging project, I wouldn’t have read it.
    more
  • Tijana
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided via NetGalley, and I am truly thankful for being given a chance to reunite with my childhood hero, Megan McCafferty.3.5 starsI believe I was in the eight grade when I read Jessica Darling series. Or should I say, pretended to be sick so I could stay at home and read it.Now, did the new Megan McCafferty's book have the same influence on me?No, no really. But it was a good story.Writing amazing as always, characters realistic, and I loved the 90's vibe! Overall, I did look forward to ARC provided via NetGalley, and I am truly thankful for being given a chance to reunite with my childhood hero, Megan McCafferty.3.5 starsI believe I was in the eight grade when I read Jessica Darling series. Or should I say, pretended to be sick so I could stay at home and read it.Now, did the new Megan McCafferty's book have the same influence on me?No, no really. But it was a good story.Writing amazing as always, characters realistic, and I loved the 90's vibe! Overall, I did look forward to coming back home from work to read it. It's just that I didn't feel need to call in sick and stay at home all day long, cuddling it.
    more
  • Shelli
    January 1, 1970
    The Mall, a just-barely-post-high-school YA novel set entirely in the eponymous mall of the title, is the first realism/realistic YA/NA title I’ve read where I really related to the characters, and was not playing a constant internal game of Incomprehensible Behavior/Unrealistic Dialog/Stupid YA Trope Bingo. Obviously the credit for that goes to author Megan McCafferty, but I suspect that the fact that she’s pretty obviously Generation X, like I am, is the reason I “clicked” so much with these The Mall, a just-barely-post-high-school YA novel set entirely in the eponymous mall of the title, is the first realism/realistic YA/NA title I’ve read where I really related to the characters, and was not playing a constant internal game of Incomprehensible Behavior/Unrealistic Dialog/Stupid YA Trope Bingo. Obviously the credit for that goes to author Megan McCafferty, but I suspect that the fact that she’s pretty obviously Generation X, like I am, is the reason I “clicked” so much with these characters and this story. McCafferty writes familiarly and accurately about the Gen X life, world, and worldview when we were young adults in that era.I’m not really sure that Millennials and Generation Z (who are probably the ones reading most of the YA books these days) actually get how very different we Xers were (and still are) from the Boomers, how we came to realize, somewhere early in our adulthood, that our Boomer parents’ flower-child idealism had turned into too much Wall Street greed by way of the supposed American Dream, thus fucking shit up all over the US and in the world, and how we wanted to do – be – better. Our activism was/is more personal and less radical; although we have come to respect the louder, prouder stance of Millennials while Boomers are poo-pooing it, our hallmark reactivity still involves some sort of nod to snark and irony (whereas Millennials are so gosh darned earnest!). And many of our shortcomings can be traced to wanting to do a better job as parents than our own did: we were so largely latch-key children of divorce who supported ourselves at a young age, so we desperately feared being neglectful and indifferent that we turned into, at worst, enabling helicopter coddlers of entitled brats. But I don’t think we ever really got our time to shine, and now we may never: after a lifetime of trying to make the society we lived in value experiences and relationships more than giant fortunes, reflect equality and fairness, and reverse the march into late-stage capitalism and a ruined environment, we thought we finally had the reins when President Obama, the first Gen X US president, was elected. Now of course we’re back to a Boomer president – and a world far more conservative, depressing, dangerous, and overall just downright worse than anything we ever witnessed. As a generation, sometimes we’re not even remembered anymore, or we get lumped in with the Boomers (ack, please no!). Some have been radicalized into a horrifying “if you can’t beat 'em, join 'em” path, but I think the bulk of us are just kind of fading away, and at least somewhere deep inside, we’re too jaded and exhausted to care.Okay, that was digressive af. Where was I going with that? Oh yeah: The Mall reminded me of being young, going away to college, discovering my values, and being ready to conquer the world, much like Cassie. I think Gen Xers will most appreciate the nostalgia here: from Orange Julius and sky-high hair; “Silence = Death” pins and the nascent burgeoning of third-wave feminism; the optimism of a post-Cold-War world tempered by the slow dawning of the irreversible damage Reaganomics had wrought and that would most certainly undermine our futures; how we could be so intellectually smart but so interpersonally bone-headed and overly dramatic; our distant relationships with our indecipherable and often divorcing parents; alternative music and how it became the existential soundtrack of our lives; how we used fashion and style as such an important tool in our self-expression; the sometimes obsessive introspection on our fundamental sense of separateness and loneliness that was at once universal and also completely and utterly unique to our generation at that point in history; on down to the facts that we were the first to have and embrace technology in our daily lives – and that no matter where in this good ol’ US of A we grew up, we could not WAIT to get the hell out of there at our earliest opportunity. I wonder why there are already reviews from people that REALLY disliked this book. I don’t know if the squeaky-clean Millennials or the not-really-squeaky-clean-but-like-to-pretend-they-are Boomers were (and will continue to be) put off by some of the realities of youth (notice I did not say “misspent”!) that McCafferty details without shame or drama: We drank. We smoked (cigarettes, as well as pot). (We did more, if we could afford it.) We were on the Pill at whatever age we felt necessary, because in those halcyon days of yore, we could get that shit for free at Planned Parenthood and not need parental permission or even notification (as it damn well still should be!). We cursed like mother fucking sailors. We had sex, and not necessarily in the context of a loving, long-term relationship. We dated people of ages that would be instantly indicted as statutory rape today. If you think YA novels should not have this type of content, let alone when it is not stigmatized, not indulged only by the antagonists or “bad” characters, doesn’t result in some karmic comeuppance, or – worst perhaps of all! – is generally treated as normal, age-appropriate, and sympathetic, well, consider yourself forewarned.Lest you think The Mall is one big, long, existential slog through pinings for the proverbial good old days, don’t worry – it’s not! That was just a big takeaway for me, given where I’m at in my life and my relationship to the world. This book is actually a lot of fun, and has enough universal experiences of youth to appeal to any age (assuming you are an older teenager not influenced or offended by the aforementioned content). It is mostly about family, friendship, honesty, loyalty, and the inevitable changes of relationships upon graduating from high school. Romance is a very secondary theme, and all the hated YA love tropes are avoided. It’s also chock full of Easter eggs and pop culture references to the late 80s–early 90s, in the style of Ready Player One (although not contrived by plot, as that book was, and much more diverse in scope of topics). The female characters were wonderfully fleshed out, but unfortunately the men, not so much. In fact, the majority of them were serious douchebags, but it served the plot, which was really mostly about relationships between the women: peers, families, intergenerationally. So even though my review (aside from being unforgivably long) is rather “heavy”, the book is not, but you will likely have your own takeaways from it based on your age, background, and stage of life.There is one group of people I’d like to specifically recommend this book to (aside from Gen Xers themselves): those whose parents are Generation X. I’m not sure whether it’ll make you approve of us more, or see more commonalities in our and your youthful struggles and how we dealt with them, but I’m pretty sure you’ll understand us more. Besides, it really is a lot of fun!4.5 stars.I received an uncorrected bound manuscript of this book at no cost from the publisher via Goodreads Giveaways, but was otherwise not compensated for my review.
    more
  • Kris
    January 1, 1970
    This book is so goodI criedI laughed so hard i cried againThis book is amazing
  • Caitlin Reads
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars. I was in high school when I devoured the Jessica Darling series and absolutely loved it. I was so excited to receive this ARC for Megan McCafferty's latest novel, The Mall. While The Mall did not hold the same magic for me that Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie did, I loved the 90's vibe and Megan's writing. The characters were really relatable. It reminded me of being young before college when the Mall was the center of the universe. Sam Goody! Spencer's Gifts! Kaybee Toys! There 3.5 Stars. I was in high school when I devoured the Jessica Darling series and absolutely loved it. I was so excited to receive this ARC for Megan McCafferty's latest novel, The Mall. While The Mall did not hold the same magic for me that Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie did, I loved the 90's vibe and Megan's writing. The characters were really relatable. It reminded me of being young before college when the Mall was the center of the universe. Sam Goody! Spencer's Gifts! Kaybee Toys! There were a lot of gems that I had forgotten about. The Mall was a really fun throwback that made me laugh and cry. I connected with Cassie and her flaws. However, she was not always that likable which sometimes made it hard to root for her. Thanks to Edelweiss+ for this advanced copy!
    more
  • Brooke
    January 1, 1970
    It seems like everywhere you look these days, the 90s are making a comeback. For Gen X and Millennials, it is purely nostalgic - scrunchies and jellies, New Kids on the Block, 90210, Saved by the Bell, grunge, dial-up Internet, mix tapes - while for Gen Z, it is a source of music and fashion inspiration. So it makes sense that Megan McCafferty, author of the Jessica Darling series from the early 2000s, is taking us back to the 90s with her new YA novel, The Mall. The Mall is about - you guessed It seems like everywhere you look these days, the 90s are making a comeback. For Gen X and Millennials, it is purely nostalgic - scrunchies and jellies, New Kids on the Block, 90210, Saved by the Bell, grunge, dial-up Internet, mix tapes - while for Gen Z, it is a source of music and fashion inspiration. So it makes sense that Megan McCafferty, author of the Jessica Darling series from the early 2000s, is taking us back to the 90s with her new YA novel, The Mall. The Mall is about - you guessed it - a New Jersey mall back when these mega shopping complexes were in their heyday - the early 90s. It was a time before the Internet and cell phones became a thing, and teens used to entertain themselves by prowling the mall, looking for their crushes, consuming copious amounts of junk food, and spending what little pocket money they had on the latest trends. Cassie Worthy has just spent the summer after her senior year down for the count with mono. Now that she is finally feeling better, she can't wait to spend these last few weeks she has before the start of college working at America's Best Cookie with her boyfriend, Troy. Little does she know, Troy found a sub-par replacement for her while she was confined to her bed this summer. So what's a girl to do when she is dumped? Develop new friendships (and relationships!), make him pay, and most important of all, find herself. The Mall takes place entirely within a Jersey mall during the summer of 1991, and is mostly a fun-filled blast into the past. While the plot is often outlandish - the mall is home to a staff party room called The Cabbage Patch in the second basement, and Cassie finds herself wrapped up in a dubious mall treasure hunt - there are some important points to be made here about family, friends, relationships, and self-worth. Unfortunately, none of these topics are delved in too deeply, making this book feel more like a novelty - a caricature of the time period it represents - full of style, but no substance. It is a fun read, and will likely be right up the alley of its intended audience, but for those of us who actually lived through the 90s, it is apparent that McCafferty just threw in a lot of pop culture references to establish time and place, instead of working to make sure that this novel felt authentic. Younger audiences won't know the difference, however, making this story a frolicking foray into simpler times. Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a fun throwback, with such great nods to 90s culture and to McCafferty's earlier work, which I loved. It's very distinctly 90s in a way that makes me think you're gonna enjoy this a lot more if you were around teenagedom then than if you are now, so a crossover imprint was definitely the right place for it, but it's a fun story about friendship and moving on and learning the benefits of widening your circle and horizons and I definitely enjoyed it!
    more
  • Diana Iozzia (Bookworm Banter)
    January 1, 1970
    “The Mall”Written by Megan McCaffertyReviewed by Diana IozziaIn order to enjoy “The Mall”, I think you might have needed to be above the age 10 in the 1990s. In this story chockful of 90s nostalgia, the story has a very childlike and whimsical plot. Teenage Cassandra has just found out her boyfriend had been cheating on her, she loses her job, and has to begin a new job, working with Drea, who she instantly despises. Their friendship blossoms quickly, and Cassandra becomes adjusted to the job at “The Mall”Written by Megan McCaffertyReviewed by Diana IozziaIn order to enjoy “The Mall”, I think you might have needed to be above the age 10 in the 1990s. In this story chockful of 90s nostalgia, the story has a very childlike and whimsical plot. Teenage Cassandra has just found out her boyfriend had been cheating on her, she loses her job, and has to begin a new job, working with Drea, who she instantly despises. Their friendship blossoms quickly, and Cassandra becomes adjusted to the job at a boutique in the mall. Now, I am a 90s kid, but I was born in ’95. Every reference to the Cabbage Patch Kids, Britney, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, frosted hair, “Beverly Hills: 90210”, and Morrissey go right over my head. Naturally, I understand that they’re from this time, but I was too young for all of these when I was that age. For someone older than me, I can imagine this summer read would be perfect for that adolescent and teenage nostalgia. Unfortunately, this book felt very alien to me.I personally did not enjoy the main character, Cassandra. She felt very “Woman Power!” but also, “Let me become insecure by every gust of wind that blows my way”. She had a tendency to overreact to most occurrences. I enjoyed Drea’s character but not to the point that would turn my dislike for this book into enjoyment. Cassandra’s relationship to her parents and her reaction to their divorce felt very forced and unexpected. I have read many books for teenagers that had better depictions than this did. Additionally, I was not enthralled by the romance of this story.The most difficult speedbump to overcome in this story is the writing style. Again, with the references. The characters spoke in ridiculous catch-phrases, odd jargon, and with terrible description. We often read sentences that would HAVE ALL THE CHARACTERS SHOUT HYSTERICALLY. Orrrrrrrrrrrr talk like this. ORRRRR we’d hear about Drea’s HAAAAAWNNKKAAANNNNKKK laugh at least 20 times. Reading this book made me feel like I was stuck in “The Truman Show”, with characters and dialogue that felt super unrealistic and frankly annoying. Most of the dialogue and typing style felt immature and like an eyesore.I had very high expectations for this story, but all of them fell very flat. I was initially excited to read this, because it takes place in New Jersey! I did enjoy some of the New Jersey references, but yet again, they did not recover my interest.I do not recommend this book if you are above the age of 18. I would say younger, but there are sexual jokes and content that felt very tiring to read. I don’t think this book was enjoyable in most ways. In reading a book by an author has already been established, I was expecting more. I do not think I would read another book by this author. I understand that I was reading an early version of the book, so I do hope this is smoothed out more before full publication.I received a bound manuscript for reading and reviewing purposes. Love you and thank you, Macmillan, but this was a tough one for me.
    more
  • Kelly Hager
    January 1, 1970
    Can we talk about how amazing Megan McCafferty is? Her books are consistently great and fun; The Mall is no exception.This absolutely felt like my teenage years, and I couldn't tell you the last time I thought about mall stores. Kaybee Toys, guys! KAYBEE TOYS. So yes, this book is completely perfect for people my age. It's the perfect amount of nostalgia.But it's also good for the target audience. Current teens will probably find it to essentially be the Dark Ages (there's no internet! There are Can we talk about how amazing Megan McCafferty is? Her books are consistently great and fun; The Mall is no exception. This absolutely felt like my teenage years, and I couldn't tell you the last time I thought about mall stores. Kaybee Toys, guys! KAYBEE TOYS. So yes, this book is completely perfect for people my age. It's the perfect amount of nostalgia.But it's also good for the target audience. Current teens will probably find it to essentially be the Dark Ages (there's no internet! There are pay phones! You have to leave the house to buy things!) but it's also a complete delight. And they'll probably be really grateful to live in this time.I absolutely loved this book and I hope that we get to spend more time with Cassie.
    more
  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so much fun and took me right back to my middle/high school years! I loved the mall setting and related to everything! Even Seaside Heights where I lived for a few years! I laughed and cried throughout this book. Thanks to Netgalley for my advanced ebook copy!
    more
  • julianna ➹
    January 1, 1970
    let me tell you guys: this was preeeeeetty radicalbig thank you to the publisher for providing me with a drc for review <3
  • GripLitGrl
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved this book from start to finish! It took me right back to my teenage self, it truly has the perfect 90's teenage vibe. Cassie has her summer all figured out. Along with her boyfriend Troy they will to work together at America's Best Cookie at Pineville Mall in NJ before they head off to college in N.Y. After starting her job over a month late due to recovering from mono she shows up to work & finds out the hard way that life doesn’t always end up as planned. I love it when I absolutely loved this book from start to finish! It took me right back to my teenage self, it truly has the perfect 90's teenage vibe. Cassie has her summer all figured out. Along with her boyfriend Troy they will to work together at America's Best Cookie at Pineville Mall in NJ before they head off to college in N.Y. After starting her job over a month late due to recovering from mono she shows up to work & finds out the hard way that life doesn’t always end up as planned. I love it when an author can capture the hella good things about my generation Megan McCafferty perfectly captures it in The Mall. I really loved the characters! My inner teenage self had great memories of my own friends & myself within them.The 90's fashion, music & the pop culture references are great. Even popular mall stores like Sam Goody & the still open bath & body works are referenced to name a few. The best throwback reference throughout this story for me was from the 80's cabbage patch dolls. They are written into the story as part of a great plot. I don't want to leave any spoilers but I will say it adds to the fabulous fun of the story! This book definitely had me literally laughing out loud a lot while reading it. I honestly think this would be a great movie or series that I'd be totally guilty of binge watching. I received an early manuscript copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I'd rate this 4 1/2 out of 5 Stars
    more
  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    Another fantastic book from Megan McCafferty. If you enjoyed the Sloppy Firsts series you'll love this book. Playful coming of age with 90's nostalgia and a bit of mystery thrown in. I was hooked from the start and it never got dull. I hope The Mall turns into a series too. I would love to see what Cassie's college life is like.
    more
  • Tina Hottinger
    January 1, 1970
    What a fun little book! Full of 90's mall nostalgia...I enjoyed it!
  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    Rejoice, rejoice for the first relatable YA novel I’ve read in ages. This light, delightful novel takes us back to 1991, when malls were in their heyday and pegging your jeans was all the rage. Half the fun of the book is mall nostalgia for those old enough to be familiar with the references but young enough to still take interest in YA books. I wish there had actually been more mall store name drops in this (can I get a Merry Go Round shoutout? Ups and Downs? Wild Pair?), but what’s there is Rejoice, rejoice for the first relatable YA novel I’ve read in ages. This light, delightful novel takes us back to 1991, when malls were in their heyday and pegging your jeans was all the rage. Half the fun of the book is mall nostalgia for those old enough to be familiar with the references but young enough to still take interest in YA books. I wish there had actually been more mall store name drops in this (can I get a Merry Go Round shoutout? Ups and Downs? Wild Pair?), but what’s there is fun and clever, as is the treasure hunt that forms the bones of the plot. Even better than the trip down memory lane, however, is McCafferty’s refreshingly normal, relatable protagonist. Most YA would have you believe that teenage girls think about absolutely nothing but boys, exist in a perpetual state of melancholic angst, and are always victims of unspeakable tragedy. While there is a place for those things in the genre, they’re so pervasive that McCafferty’s Cassie Worthy, an interesting young woman with relatable problems and interests, almost felt like a YA white whale. And I was delighted by her. Sure, Cassie cares a LOT about boys. We all do at that age. But she also cares about school, and friendships, and her summer job, and her family, and music, and, and, and...Point being, I really appreciated a YA author who acknowledges there’s more to teenage girls than crushes and crying. More than anything else, this is a novel about friendship. The relationship between Cassie and Drea is the central one, and it makes for a fun, not-too-heavy read that also subtly imparts valuable lessons about loyalty and relating to those who aren’t exactly like you. Thank you for restoring my faith in the YA genre, Ms McCafferty. *I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
    more
  • Christa
    January 1, 1970
    (I won a Goodreads giveaway and received this book!! I didn't know people could actually win those!)Okay I truly believe this book was made for me. I loved every second of reading it. Here's a list of some of the unspoilery things that I adore:1. Set in the 90s!!2. Nerd girls finding out there's more to the other people they've looked down on (aka watch booksmart pls)3. Treasure hunt!!!4. Makeover scenes GALORE5. The Mall is not only the glorious setting but is a main character!6. A summer fling (I won a Goodreads giveaway and received this book!! I didn't know people could actually win those!)Okay I truly believe this book was made for me. I loved every second of reading it. Here's a list of some of the unspoilery things that I adore:1. Set in the 90s!!2. Nerd girls finding out there's more to the other people they've looked down on (aka watch booksmart pls)3. Treasure hunt!!!4. Makeover scenes GALORE5. The Mall is not only the glorious setting but is a main character!6. A summer fling style love story7. Hate-ish to Love-ish8. How little this girl seems to care about her parents love lives loll9. Summer job before going to college vibe10. Empowering female friendship!!!!!I could keep going, I loved every aspect. Megan McCafferty has a way of taking story aspects that I wouldn't normally enjoy and writing them in a way that I cannot get enough of. There are so many moments in this book that feel like a perfect snapshot from a 90s-early 2000s teen movie, yet it's done in such a refreshing way. Thank you Megan!! Thank you goodreads for my free book!!!!! Did you know it was one that was written for me? Is that why I won it??
    more
  • Michaela Bergland
    January 1, 1970
    I won the arc of this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and I was really excited to read it. And, for the most part, I did enjoy reading this book. It was a fun, fast-paced read that I flew through in a day, and it definitely seems like a perfect summer read, which is when it's slated to come out. I also love that the story follows a female friendship, as those I feel are rare in YA. However, there is a little body shaming and a fair amount of slut shaming in the book that was hard for me to get I won the arc of this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and I was really excited to read it. And, for the most part, I did enjoy reading this book. It was a fun, fast-paced read that I flew through in a day, and it definitely seems like a perfect summer read, which is when it's slated to come out. I also love that the story follows a female friendship, as those I feel are rare in YA. However, there is a little body shaming and a fair amount of slut shaming in the book that was hard for me to get past. This book takes place in the early 1990s, so I understand times were different, but this book was still written in the present, and it shouldn't be something that we're still seeing in media. Additionally, the writing isn't anything unique or award-winning, but in all fairness, a book like this isn't meant to be those things. This is the type of contemporary that's meant to shut your brain off for a few hours while you take in this story. For me, the book did its job in that regard. The premise was interesting, I liked the characters, and while the dialogue was occasionally cringey, it didn't stop me from plowing through this book. In the future, I could see myself rereading it, as it seems like the perfect book to get me out of a reading slump.
    more
  • Shannon Moore
    January 1, 1970
    Book was provided by netgalley..I love 80's-90's themed books. When I read the plot i knew I had to read this. The 80s references were awesome. I didn't like Troy very much. His character was just irritating for the things he said. I would recommend this to anyone who lives 90's flashback to malls and 90's music taste in marky and the funky bunch.
    more
  • Brooke
    January 1, 1970
    *ARC provided via NetGalley I’ve been a huge fan of Megan McCafferty ever since I read “Sloppy Firsts” in high school. I devoured the rest of the Jessica Darling books, and I also really enjoyed her dystopian series “Bumped”. When I saw that she had a new book available for early readers, I moved this one up to the front on my to-be-read list. It’s the summer of 1991, and Cassie is more than eager to get through her stint at the mall food court so she and her boyfriend Troy can attend college *ARC provided via NetGalley ⁣⁣I’ve been a huge fan of Megan McCafferty ever since I read “Sloppy Firsts” in high school. I devoured the rest of the Jessica Darling books, and I also really enjoyed her dystopian series “Bumped”. When I saw that she had a new book available for early readers, I moved this one up to the front on my to-be-read list. ⁣It’s the summer of 1991, and Cassie is more than eager to get through her stint at the mall food court so she and her boyfriend Troy can attend college together in NYC. But to her surprise Troy has dumped her and she has lost her job. Cassie is unsure of what to do with the rest of her summer, until she finds out that there is more to the mall and it’s employees than she ever thought possible. ⁣As a reader of the Jessica Darling series, I caught all the many references to the characters that Jessica interacted with (even the town and business names). I’m not a GenXer, but I do know of all the bands, stores, and styles that the author mentioned. I myself have fond memories of spending much of my free time as a teenager at my local mall with friends. I saw some negative reviews where readers couldn’t understand the references, which makes me laugh because the author referenced many high profile bands and well known stores, many that are still around to this day. ⁣While I am a fan of the author, this book was just an OK read for me. I found Cassie to be highly dramatic and unlikeable at times, and it made me hard to connect with her or sympathize. I felt that the treasure hunt that she and Drea embark on was a bit silly and didn’t feel like a YA book to me. Although it was refreshing to see a YA protagonist not center her entire around summer around a boy for once, and instead the focus was on a female friendship. I really enjoyed McCafferty’s writing style, as it harkened back to her Jessica Darling series and why I became such a fan. But this book won’t be as memorable for me as her previous works are. ⁣⁣
    more
  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I received my copy of The Mall free as part of the First Reads giveaway program. I haven't read anything by McCafferty since the Sloppy Firsts series and The Mall made me remember what I was missing. It's 1991 in Pineville, New Jersey, and after being bedridden for six weeks with mono, 17 year old Cassie Worthy is ready to get back to her boyfriend, Troy, her job at the cookie store in the Parkway Center Mall food court, make some money, and head to college in the fall. However, her life is I received my copy of The Mall free as part of the First Reads giveaway program. I haven't read anything by McCafferty since the Sloppy Firsts series and The Mall made me remember what I was missing. It's 1991 in Pineville, New Jersey, and after being bedridden for six weeks with mono, 17 year old Cassie Worthy is ready to get back to her boyfriend, Troy, her job at the cookie store in the Parkway Center Mall food court, make some money, and head to college in the fall. However, her life is turned upside down her first day back when she learns that Troy has been cheating on her, she's been fired, and The Plan she and Troy put into place (going to college together, getting an apartment, eventually marrying and starting a family). Not wanting to tell her parents about her epic life fail, Cassie begins the process of job hunting, eventually landing a job as a bookkeeper at an upscale but Jersey Shore-esque boutique run by her former best friend and her mom. For the rest of the summer, Cassie realizes she has a lot to learn about true friendship/love, how humbling it is to have your world turned upside down, and that "anywhere but here" isn't the same as home. I had a hard time putting the Mall down and going to bed at a reasonable hour, so be warned, but I highly recommend it to anyone with a decent sense of humor. For Stranger Things fans - I kept picturing Cassie (if she hadn't lost her job in the cookie store) as a way less confident Robin but with a similar work uniform.
    more
  • BetweenShadesofBooks
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you so much to Alexis Neuville at Wednesday Books for sending me a copy! I loved this book so much! A really cute contemporary full of fun and nostalgia. He writing was so addictive and the book itself kept me up reading! The cover is gorgeous as well. If you’re a contemporary lover, you will for sure love this one!
    more
  • Online Eccentric Librarian
    January 1, 1970
    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ From the beginning dedication of "To all Riot Grrrls, past present and future" you'll get an instant idea of what to expect from The Mall. There are a lot feminist ideas here, perhaps the author looking back at the time (1991) through a revisionist lens to see the beginnings of the grrrl movement. Social issues affecting women/girls at the time are addressed obliquely so as to not become an agenda piece and the focus More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ From the beginning dedication of "To all Riot Grrrls, past present and future" you'll get an instant idea of what to expect from The Mall. There are a lot feminist ideas here, perhaps the author looking back at the time (1991) through a revisionist lens to see the beginnings of the grrrl movement. Social issues affecting women/girls at the time are addressed obliquely so as to not become an agenda piece and the focus does stay on the relationship aspects of our main character. Nor is this a light Summer romance; the Mall is about friendships, finding oneself, and learning to discover your own own strengths and weaknesses. The characters are very flawed and not overidealized - you won't fall in love with any of them but you can definitely respect that they feel more interesting because of the weaknesses and self discovery journey they take.Story: Cassie has graduated high school and is now facing the Summer lull before attending her University in Fall. Smart and focused, she and her boyfriend Troy have planned out their entire future and how they will make it successful. Until a bout of very serious mono puts her in a hospital for several weeks to "keep her internals from exploding." When she is out of the hospital, everything changes - she loses her boyfriend, her job, and then her homelife starts falling apart. But amidst the destruction, she reunites with a lost friend, meets a new great guy, and begins to learn that being the best person she can be is more than a platitude - and extremely difficult not only to define but also to achieve.While there are great 1980s/1990s references, they won't derail the book. Younger readers can view it as a historical and biography of Gen Xers (NOT Baby Boomers!) and appreciate it for the period it is set. Those who lived the era will enjoy the many references - from "crunchy Aqua Net hair" to Yardley's of London Lavender scented products. Before video games made the home actually fun to be in, that era was all about the mall.Character-wise, Cassie can be very difficult to respect/like. She's selfish,much shallower than the shallow creatures she derides, and doesn't respect or appreciate all that is being done for her. Of course, it was the Reagan "Me generation" so that isn't all that surprising. But I had a hard time liking or appreciating her. I grew up in that era and she was just as pretentious to me as the cheerleader or jock she looks down on. Cassie's ex is a stand-in for Family's Ties tv series lead Alex (Michael J Fox) and a lot of the book is Cassie recognizing that the conservative Reagan Era values he placed on her were stifling.I did like that the author did not overidealize best friend Drea. She wasn't the sweet friend left behind when the girls entered high school. Rather, Cassie was the one left behind when her friend learned how to really showcase herself and use her mother's skill with fashion to best advantage. Now with the girls reuniting, Drea remained the same appearance-oriented character but using those skills to best advantage now that she was an adult.I did have a few quibbles. The 'treasure hunt' mcguffin was silly and really hurt the sincerity of the story since it was so unrealistic and illogical. I really disliked that aspect of the book since it destroyed credibility so effectively. As well, a lot of The Mall is extremely overwritten in order to up the humor. I didn't believe for a minute that a teen spontaneously had the quips that Cassie did; so although they were amusing, the beginning was a tedious slog through unbelievable dialogue and cultural references. Both eased by the middle of the book, fortunately. And the biggest nitpick is that Drea and her mother are of Italian heritage - but Andrea (Drea) is a male name in Italian (female in Germany, France, etc.) so Giavanna Bellarossa would never have named her daughter Andrea.I think those expecting a light and fluffy romance won't find it here. This is a coming of age story of a very flawed character with a strong 'grrrrrls are doing it for themselves' message throughout. Interestingly enough, I could very much picture this as a movie from the 1980s teen era, a companion to The Breakfast Club or Some Kind of Wonderful. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.
    more
  • Jessica Berry
    January 1, 1970
    Well, this one sure brought me back! As a Jersey Girl, born and raised, growing up in the 80s and 90s, I couldn't ask for a book that gave me more nostalgic feels than "The Mall"!I went to Sam Goody, I worked at the Garden State Plaza, and I dreamed of getting out of my small "village" after high school. I literally worked at Bath and Body Works! Spraying cucumber melon on strangers was my jam! Obviously, I related to Cassie on so many levels., including the heartbreaking first love breakup. Well, this one sure brought me back! As a Jersey Girl, born and raised, growing up in the 80s and 90s, I couldn't ask for a book that gave me more nostalgic feels than "The Mall"!I went to Sam Goody, I worked at the Garden State Plaza, and I dreamed of getting out of my small "village" after high school. I literally worked at Bath and Body Works! Spraying cucumber melon on strangers was my jam! Obviously, I related to Cassie on so many levels., including the heartbreaking first love breakup. Rude. This books is sprinkled with 90s pop culture references on every page, and they all made me roar with laughter. Everything from "90210" job rankings to Z Cavariccis was thrown into this book, and I devoured it all. I loved the treasure hunt. It was ridiculous and whimsical.This book is basically Season 3 of Stranger Things for girls.My only complaint about this book was Cassie's lack of experience, despite having had a long-term boyfriend. Call me a hoe, but that's NOT how I remember growing up in New Jersey in the 90s. I was third in my high school class, and even I was rolling my eyes at her "plan", so it's not a geek thing since I was one, too. I loved Drea. Fun, funny, witty, daring, beautiful and talented, all in one package. You couldn't ask for a more fun character with which to hunt for treasure. And her mom and their store? I thought it sounded so cozy to be Drea. Ever want to crawl up into a character's life and live there? That's me with Drea. Cassie's parents both being dentists was funny to me because my brother and his wife are both dentists. The scene in the book where they simultaneously refer to teeth as "number 8 and 9" could have been stolen right out of my brother's living room. Cute plot point.I definitely recommend this young adult book to young adults and children of the 80s and 90s like me. It was incredibly fun and whimsical.Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced copy in exchange for this honest review.
    more
  • Mercedes
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book so much. No, it's not the latest literary masterpiece, nor did reading it make me any more intelligent, but it's just a really good story that takes place in a really nostalgic place for me....the mall.I was born in 1980, so my entire teen years took place in the 1990's. From 1993 when I turned 13 to 1999 when I turned 19.I spent an ENORMOUS amount of time at our local mall in Southeastern Connecticut...The Crystal Mall. I even worked there briefly at, I'm sorry to say, Sears I loved this book so much. No, it's not the latest literary masterpiece, nor did reading it make me any more intelligent, but it's just a really good story that takes place in a really nostalgic place for me....the mall.I was born in 1980, so my entire teen years took place in the 1990's. From 1993 when I turned 13 to 1999 when I turned 19.I spent an ENORMOUS amount of time at our local mall in Southeastern Connecticut...The Crystal Mall. I even worked there briefly at, I'm sorry to say, Sears (a Sad, Sad Scott Scanlon).This story follows Cassandra in the summer between her graduating from high school and going off to college. She's lost her boyfriend, her job, and her comfortable sense of security at home. We follow her as she comes to terms with all the changes in her life, the new friends she makes and the old friends she gets reacquainted with. It's funny, it's sad and it's real. I loved it. I absolutely recommend this to any teens of the 90's. The references to all the stores and the trends will bring back all kinds of memories (they did for me at least), and I really enjoyed it.One thing though...Nirvana's Nevermind album was released in September of 1991...not July. It's ok...I can forgive that since I believe inserting Nirvana at that time represented all the change that was on the horizon not just for Cassie, but for everyone in the story.Highly, highly recommend this book. I loved every minute of this.
    more
  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    A fun and fizzy love letter to the late ‘80s/early ‘90s. Set in a New Jersey shopping mall in the summer of 1991, where Cassie is set to enjoy three months of working at the food court with her high school boyfriend, before they both head for college in NYC. They’ve got their whole future planned. Until he breaks up with her on her first day. Cassie suddenly has to scramble for a new job and new friends. In the insular world of the mall, there are rumors about everything from who’s hooking up, A fun and fizzy love letter to the late ‘80s/early ‘90s. Set in a New Jersey shopping mall in the summer of 1991, where Cassie is set to enjoy three months of working at the food court with her high school boyfriend, before they both head for college in NYC. They’ve got their whole future planned. Until he breaks up with her on her first day. Cassie suddenly has to scramble for a new job and new friends. In the insular world of the mall, there are rumors about everything from who’s hooking up, to whispers of a treasure hidden somewhere amid the Orange Juliuses and Sam Goodys. MacCaffery clearly has great affection and nostalgia for this time and place. The stores and pop culture references are spot-on. Cassie has a sharp wit and too-real naïveté. She feels very much like Jessica Darling of the Sloppy First series. (There’s even a cameo from Jessica’s perfect older sister, Bethany!)Also, not related to the story at all, but I’ve had Robin Sparkles’s “Let’s Go to the Mall” stuck in my head the whole time I’ve been reading this book.
    more
  • Rachel Mans Mckenny
    January 1, 1970
    Fun, and a great flashback to the very early 90s, THE MALL introduces readers to Cassie, a recent high school grad on the verge of a new life but still stuck in her old one. After a break up with her boyfriend, Cassie needs a new job and new outlook, and in finding both (at the mall, of course), she reignites a long-lost friendship. This book has a lot of great things: a mystery, humor, and of course all of the 90's-era trappings which are so fun to remember. Unfortunately, I didn't find many of Fun, and a great flashback to the very early 90s, THE MALL introduces readers to Cassie, a recent high school grad on the verge of a new life but still stuck in her old one. After a break up with her boyfriend, Cassie needs a new job and new outlook, and in finding both (at the mall, of course), she reignites a long-lost friendship. This book has a lot of great things: a mystery, humor, and of course all of the 90's-era trappings which are so fun to remember. Unfortunately, I didn't find many of the characters compelling, though I did enjoy following the ups and downs of the friendship of Cassie and Drea. Straddling the line between YA and NA, this book will be a fun summer read when it comes out.Thanks to NetGalley for a free ARC in exchange for my honest review.
    more
  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Yay! I won an ARC of The Mall by Megan McCafferty in a Goodreads giveaway (Thank you, St. Martin's Press!) :D It looks like a really fun read and I can't wait to be carried back in time so I can wallow in feelings of nostalgia for the 1990s. Bring on the scrunchies, mix-tapes, and Beverly Hills 90210!
    more
  • Whitney Bailey
    January 1, 1970
    This book takes place in the 90s when the mall was at its peak. It follows Casdie and he life at the mall the summer before she starts college. I loved this book. It was definitely a page turner. The characters were well written and relatable.
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    This book is set in the 90s and has a lot of fun references for someone who understands them. I'm not sure that a younger audience will be able to enjoy that aspect of this book. I received an ARC and although the book started out promising, I can't get myself to sit down and finish it. Maybe I'll come back to it, but I just don't find it to be interesting enough or that well written.
    more
Write a review