Paul & Cate:
Tabitha’s relationship with her parents in this book was my favorite part of Life By Committee. There wasn’t really any reason other than the fact that their relationship with their daughter was so refreshing, and they were more like friends than anything else. They had Tabitha when they were sixteen, and she’s sixteen - so I’m assuming they’re in their early thirties. Which is so young. My only reservation when it came to their relationship is that I wish it had been explored more. There is a bit of tension, and it was never fully resolved. But other than that I loved the parent-daughter relationship.
UPDATE: I almost forgot about how Cate and Paul are both avid readers and make sure that Tabitha never loses sight of how important reading is and drag her away from her computer at times.
“This one here’s my best friend. We’ve got something special. Cate and I have very separate relationships with her. Like it should be.” - Paul talking about Tabitha. (pg. 188)
Life By Committee (LBC):
Everything about LBC was super intriguing. Tabitha stumbles upon this website during a time where she needed something to keep her going. The group essentially pushes its members to always go to the next level, to challenge themselves and see where it may lead them. And at first it’s great. But with each new assignment, the stakes are raised and it gets to a point where you’re not sure if this is really what’s best for the people involved. Over time, the assignments started to effect not only Tabitha, but the people she’s closest to. There was this one scene in the coffee shop where I was literally about to throw my book because things were getting so screwed up. And Tabitha realizes it. But she can’t not complete an assignment - because her secrets could be made public.
Even writing about it now is making me jittery.
Everything isn't black and white:
I really shouldn’t have liked Tabitha as much as I did. But she was a really compelling character and it was hard not to like her. I’m not justifying the things she does in this book, but I could see where she was coming from. She actually believes that the things she’s doing aren’t that bad and that everything will work out in the end. I also really felt for her because her “friends” dropped her because she decided that she was interested in her appearances and boys. She still liked to hangout with her family, and active read - she just had other interests as well.
Life By Committee has easily become one of my favorite releases of 2014. I have a few minor reservations, but nothing that could change that verdict. It’s a book that I’m already planning to buy when it’s released as a paperback, and I will then be rereading it because Corey Ann Haydu’s books are the kind that deserve to be reread.