If you want to use humor, Nerdlove suggests the safest route is to callback something from a previous interaction. For the cute guy from the gym, make a joke about the gym (or working out) since that’s how you met. You should be especially cautious, however, of using sarcasm in your texts. It rarely reads as well as it sounds in your head. If you really want to try, however, a study published in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests that using some emoji, emoticons, or an ellipses can help. A text like “I can totally out-bench you ;-)” reads a lot better than the matter-of-factly “I can totally out-bench you.”
Gr 7-10–Much to her feminist mother's disapproval, “born-again normal person” Nora Fulbright has dropped the “smart girl” act that kept her “larval” in middle school and is dedicating her high school career to increasing her “popularity quotient.” She has exchanged gymnastics for varsity cheerleading, shed her chess-playing past, and dropped down from AP classes. Then chess-loving, brainiac, super-hot Adam Hood moves to town. Nora immediately goes to work masterminding a series of swaps to get closer to him, beginning with an agreement to go on a date with creepy, unpopular Mitch in exchange for a printout of Adam's class schedule. Not surprisingly, the swaps backfire, and Nora realizes that she failed to operate under the three principles of chess–foresight, caution, and circumspection. She goes into damage-control mode and manages to make good on all of her botched swaps. Although the resolution borders on being unrealistic, Valentine's tale will appeal to teen girls. In the same vein as E. Lockhart's The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (Hyperion, 2008), the message of embracing who you are is one that teens need to hear.–Nicole Knott, Watertown High School, CTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.