The smartest way to find a good boyfriend is to start with yourself. Get emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy by looking inward (and upward!) first. You don’t need a man, but your life may be happier with a partner. You don’t have to be in a relationship to be filled with purpose and joy, but your experiences will be deeper and richer if you have someone to share them with.
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.