|AUTHOR: Lisa Aldin
PUBLISHER: Spencer Hill Press
PUBLICATION DATE: February 10, 2015
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.
- 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
- 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