Fifteen-year-old Dave and his best friends Curtis and Victor are excited to spend their summer relaxing. However, then their dads throw them a curveball–all three of them must get a summer job. Dave, Curtis, and Victor believe a mandatory summer job is outrageous for fifteen-year-olds. A mandatory summer job should be reserved for sixteen-year-olds and up.
However, then the trio thinks of an idea. The three of them will have fake summer jobs. Under Project Sweet Life, they will earn $7,000, which is what they would have made if they have gotten summer jobs. However, earning $7,000 is not quite as easy as it sounds…
Project Sweet Life was an entertaining read. Every time Dave and his friends were close to earning the $7,000, something unfortunate would happen, and they were back to square one. The first two times this happened, I was frustrated, but after that, reading about their failed attempts became entertaining. In fact, each one was more entertaining than the last! Without spoiling it, the end included a failed attempt that completely fit the rest of the novel too. Another thing I enjoyed was how Hartinger cleverly weaved in the history of Tacoma, Washington, which is where the boys live. I found the history to be fascinating.
I had one problem with Project Sweet Life. I think Hartinger created the idea of fake summer jobs to be over-the-job, just like the rest of the schemes Dave and his friends get into. However, that does not mean that it did not bother me. Dave, Curtis, and Victor are fifteen. What 15-year-olds go through the trouble of having fake jobs?! I found the fake jobs to be a stupid and childish idea. I can’t even refer to the trio as ‘teens’ because it just does not feel right. I can only call them boys. The trio’s refusal to get a summer also made the boys seem spoiled. Is a summer job really that bad?
Despite the ridiculous factor of the fake summer jobs, I still thought the book was good. It is fast-paced, interesting, and a great read during summer. =)