The Mall by: Megan McCafferty

Publication Date: July 28, 2020

Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

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.

My Review:

I read this book as a buddy read with my friend Sarah from the YouTube channel Sarah’s Nightstand https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBVf70DmzIEP4MCMz5MvJaQ

We both received this in exchange for an honest review and decided it would be fun to read together. Set in the stereotypical 1991 mall backdrop, Cassie is a young high school graduate about to set off to college with her boyfriend. They have a plan to work for the summer to pay for textbooks and living expenses but very quickly, Cassie’s life starts to unravel and those plans are about to self destruct.

This book was full of nostalgic references and allowed Sarah and I to talk about and relive the 90’s. That aspect of it was a ton of fun. Remembering the stores and layout of our local malls and the popular culture of that time allowed me to enjoy the book. However, Cassie, as a teenager was a bit immature and her actions were questionable for her age. She made some decisions that were thought out and some that were straight up hurtful. Yes, she was young but she should’ve been smarter than she was portrayed.

The other issue that both Sarah and I had was the intended audience for this book. It is a YA read that would not translate well for that audience. My daughter is 20 years old and she would not get any of the references or humor. If the YA genre is geared for 13- 18 year olds, this book would fall flat for them. I found that is was a “fun” read for me and I’m 40 years old.

For these reasons, I am giving this book 3.5 crowns.

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