Project Sweet Life by Brent Hartinger


For most kids, fifteen is the year of the optional summer job: Sure, you can get a job if you really want one, but it isn't required or anything. Too bad Dave's dad doesn't agree! Instead of enjoying long days of biking, swimming, and sitting around, Dave and his two best friends are being forced by their fathers into a summer of hard labor.

The friends have something else in mind, though: Not only will they not work over the summer, but they're determined to trick everyone into believing they really do have jobs. So what if the lifeguard doesn't have a tan or the fast-food worker isn't bringing home buckets of free chicken? There's only one problem: Dave's dad wants evidence that his son is actually bringing in money. And that means Dave, Curtis, and Victor will have to get some . . . without breaking the law and without doing any work!

Project Sweet Life is designed for the funny and lazy bone in all of us—a true comedy of errors (without any effort!) from seasoned storyteller Brent Hartinger.


I have to admit that I was a bit weary when I began Project Sweet Life mostly because it was being narrated by a boy named Dave. As you may have noticed already, most of the books I tend to read are narrated by girls, so in reading this I was expecting a big change of tone. Though, by the end, I came to enjoy reading about Dave and his friends, and more importantly I came to love Project Sweet Life which was just as sweet as the title.

The characters were probably my favorite part. I loved how Brent created three very different guys in Victor, Dave, and Curtis. You see Victor was the typical goody two shoes who did what he was told and didn't think otherwise while Curtis was a type of boy who told lies or as he called it " avoided the truth." And Dave? Well, he was in between, since he was kind of a mix of the two. Anyway, I loved the dialogue and friendship between them. Plus, they got into plenty of funny situations. My only problems was that they seemed to be a bit immature at times, though now that I think about it most boys mature differently then girls.

The plot and writing were also well done. Project Sweet Life was filled with twists and turns and you were constantly rooting for them to find a way to get the 7,000 dollars they needed to trick their parents.

While Project Sweet Life was my first time reading a Brent Hartinger, it certainly won't be my last. This is definitely recommend.

Grade: A-

Project Sweet Life is now out. Also, if this seems interesting to you, you can browse the first three chapters here.

* Much thanks goes to Brent for sharing his fantastic novel with me! :)


  1. Thanks for the great review! I'll look into this one!

  2. I was weary not because it was narrated by a guy, but because it was narrated by a guy whose friends were *very A.D.D. and hyper*. It gave me a headache, but then I, like you, was sucked into their adventure. Nice review!

  3. I think I would be a little weary too, having a boy as the narrator. Good review :)


  4. This is a FABULOUS book! I loved it. Brent's books are all just so fantastic- you should read more from him! Don't be wary about reading a book about a guy- what matters is if the story itself sounds good, not who's narrating it.

    Great review!

  5. I'm glad you liked it! I basically had the same thoughts on the book minus the weariness. Male protagonists don't scare me. I've read Grand & Humble by Brent Hartinger and LOVED the ending. You should read it. ;)

  6. I want to read this one. I always find it more interesting when the narrator of the book is a guy.


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