Ben, 27, is our breath of fresh air. “I’m not one for games,” he says, “and the older I get, the less and less I play them. But I do think it is important to not come off as desperate or clingy when first meeting someone, because you don’t want to spook them.” When can you expect a non-strategized text from him? “After 2 – 3 dates, I usually stop worrying about the time or frequency of my texts as strategic, because I feel that I have a read on them and whether or not we like each other.”
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.