Review: The Bad Decisions Playlist by Michael Rubens

The Bad Decisions PlaylistThe Bad Decisions Playlist by Michael Rubens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Random House Australia in exchange for an honest review.


‘The Bad Decisions Playlist’ was really NOT what I expected – and in a completely good way!
My first impression of this novel was that it was going to be about yet another boy-next-door with small life problems and the aspiration to become somebody famous (despite everything the blurb said). I thought the character was going to be surly and grumpy and hopeful and a little goody-two-shoes. In other words: average and boring as hell.
Austin was NOTHING like that!
And this novel taught me A LOT more than simply and absolutely nothing.
What surprised me the most and what I found that I loved a lot was the character of Austin whom Michael Rubens created. Austin Methune was a troubled, angsty, bad-boy teen who, like all other teenagers out there, experienced his bildungsroman. (Otherwise known as his coming of age.) Austin was incredibly SPECIAL at times, and I felt like I would have hated him if I had met him in real life if not for the fact that I was able to step into his mind and shoes and take a look at the world around him through his eyes. The novel is written solely from Austin’s point of view so traveling with him from this tormented and pointless world he made for himself to one with meaning and hardships and trials which he realised he could overcome was a small gift for me. He really was a misunderstood creature who had it coming for him.
I REALLY enjoyed how love and nurture were explored in ‘The Bad Decisions Playlist’.
Young/first love is probably one of humanity’s number one gifts and curses. A real life paradox. Austin learned a lot about this and it was a real terrifying ride for me following him along as he made mistakes and fixed them; stumbled and righted himself.
Leading on from this, Austin Methune was a person who came off as a very strong product of both his raising and parentage. Austin’s father was a real…bad person… He left without saying goodbye. He left Austin’s pregnant mother without any support. And he never once looked back or apologised for his mistakes. He used and manipulated people without any consideration of the consequences just to get what he wanted. Austin’s mother on the other hand had drug problems and addictions which really made a strong, negative impact on Austin’s already unstable family and his psyche. I really wasn’t very surprised that Austin turned out the way he did. He also reaffirmed the nature verses nature debate for me. People really are a product of both.
The novel definitely ended in a way that surprised me. To be honest I kept expecting less of it and it kept giving me more. The finale was really a very true and powerful way to wrap up the consequences and successes of Austin’s character and his actions. It definitely left me slightly reeling and unsure. But I loved it. It ended in a way that I felt deep sorrow for but in a way that was oddly satisfying.
A great and wonderful light read to leave you with a little something to think about.
Congratulations to Michael Rubens on publishing a compelling read which I have unhesitatingly put on my “re-read” list!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

View all my reviews


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