|AUTHOR: Jillian Dodd|
SERIES: That Boy, book 1
PUBLISHER: I am guessing this is self-published since Goodreads does not list a publisher. Bandit Publishing issued it in paperback.
PUBLICATION DATE: May 16, 2011
SOURCE: purchased for Nook
GENRE: new adult; contemporary romance
GIVE IT TO: HS, college
REVIEW: I read That Boy in one sitting, staying up until 4AM to finish it. This adorable book reminds me a lot of Kinsella's Shopaholic series and Abbi Glines' The Vincent Boys, both of which I loved. The protagonist, JJ Reynolds, starts out pretty annoying because she is young and immature and silly, but she mellows out as she grows older. JJ is a happy, confident young lady, but she doesn't always have the best judgment. She makes plenty of mistakes, and through it all, her best friends Phillip and Danny are there to guide her through. JJ can be bonehead-clueless, especially when it comes to both boys' romantic feelings for her, but I believed in their friendship and the chemistry among the characters.
I loved getting a window into the lives of these three characters. The story follows them from about first grade all the way to just past college graduation. While it is fluffy fun at times, it also has a serious side. As in real life, the characters sometimes experience heartbreak, tragedy, and pain. They all make mistakes and must learn to move on. But through it all, they rely on each other and help each other through. I really loved that. Yes, there is romance--plenty of it--but the friendship among these three people is the main story.
I do not normally include new adult books on my YA blog, but in this case, the book does not really contain anything most high school readers could not handle. There is sex and kissing, but none of it is described in detail. For at least the first half of the story, the characters are in grade school and high school, and during this part, it reads like YA chick lit. When they go off to college, there is some college drinking and partying and sex, but again, none of it is described in detail beyond "we had sex" or "his hand went under my shirt." I think many high school girls--especially those who don't really like reading--would love That Boy.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Cute and fun for high school and beyond. Perfect for reluctant reader girls.
STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: It's too mature for a middle school library, so I can't get it. I do recommend it for high school libraries. Though it started out as an e-book only, a paperback version is now available from Bandit Publishing.
READALIKES: anything by Sophie Kinsella, Abbi Glines, or Jennifer Echols
- Overall: 5/5--I loved it!
- Creativity: 5/5--Readers get to watch these characters grow up in detail, which I have not seen in chick lit before.
- Characters: 5/5--Loved them all. Lots of chemistry and a believable friendship.
- Engrossing: 5/5--Read in one sitting; finished at 4AM.
- Writing: 5/5--Good enough for me to read in one sitting.
- Appeal to teens: 5/5--will especially appeal to reluctant reader HS girls
- Appropriate length to tell the story: less than 300 pages and never dull
- Language: mild-medium; includes fu** and sh**
- Sexuality: mild-medium; sex occurs and is discussed, but none of it is in detail; brief mention of menstrual period; some sexual promiscuity in college (again, not described)
- Violence: mild; fight at a party
- Drugs/Alcohol: medium; teens party in college; plenty of drinking; characters drink socially as adults and sometimes get drunk
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