Saturday, January 24, 2015

Review: One of the Guys (Aldin)

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AUTHOR: Lisa Aldin
SERIES: none
PUBLISHER: Spencer Hill Press
PUBLICATION DATE: February 10, 2015
PAGES: 320
SOURCE: NetGalley
GENRE: romance/chick lit
SETTING: present-day Vermont, near Lake Champlain
GIVE IT TO: MS, HS
SUMMARY: For several years, Toni and her three best guy friends have searched the waters of Lake Champlain for a lake monster they spotted as children. Now a high school senior, Toni worries her group is growing apart. Things get worse when a prank lands Toni in a posh, girls-only private school. Separated from her guys, Toni finds a new, possibly illegal, way to bond with her pals: a fake dating business where private school girls pay big bucks to make their ex-boyfriends jealous.

REVIEW: This was cute, but it's not really much different from any of the scores of tomboy-falls-for-her-boy-BFF stories. I really did like Toni, who is funny and smart and daring. I also like Toni's fear of moving on, a legitimate and realistic fear that many high school seniors must face. Toni puts off selecting a college and worries about how much her life will change over the next year. She worries her friends will drift apart. I think many teen readers will relate to Toni's fears of what happens after graduation.

I also like the lake monster angle, which is timely since new theories about Champ's identity were recently in the news.

THE BOTTOM LINE: A cute but predictable story about a tomboy who falls for her best guy friend. I've read so many similar YA books recently. It's fun for a bit, but nothing memorable or ground-breaking.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: I don't have it since it is not out yet. I might get it, but it won't be a priority. It's a cute but additional purchase--get it if you need more tomboy romances.

READALIKES: The DUFF (Keplinger); The Fine Art of Pretending (Harris); On the Fence (West)

RATING BREAKDOWN:
  • Overall: 3/5
  • Creativity: 3/5--The Champ lake monster connection is different
  • Characters: 5/5--really liked Toni, Emma, and the guy friends
  • Engrossing: 4/5
  • Writing: 3/5
  • Appeal to teens:
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5

CONTENT:
  • Language: mild-medium--damn, a few sh**
  • Sexuality: mild--a fake dating service; kissing; chest-lust
  • Violence: none
  • Drugs/Alcohol: medium--teens drink beer and play beer pong at a party
  • Other: two minor characters are lesbian
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