My new Sunday Spotlight feature (which actually bears a striking similarity to my old Saturday Spotlight feature) will showcase some of my favourite recent books reviewed for the superb Bookbag site.
Adam is a teenage entrepeneur with a keen eye for a get rich quick scheme. His best friend Lita is an aspiring novelist who also writes an anonymous blog. There's definitely no romance between them - Lita may have broken up a couple of Adam's relationships without him realising it, but that's for his own good. In fact, Lita's convinced Adam knows nothing about romance, so when he comes up with the great idea of writing a self-help book which explains what boys are looking for in a girl, she wants nothing to do with it. Of course, if she took more of an interest, she might notice there are a lot of parts with a significant resemblance to a certain blog...
This is one of the warmest and sweetest books I've read for absolutely ages. I can't think of the last time I found one where every teen, and even most of the adults, were likeable! This also makes it a really good mixture of the predictable - it's fairly clear that Lita will end up finding out about Adam's plagiarism - and the unexpected - there were several plot twists which I definitely didn't see coming but were subtly signposted when you thought back. It's also very, very funny, particularly Lita's snarky narration.
There's also fabulous character development, with Adam in particularly really growing wonderfully through the story, while both his voice and Lita's are clear and fresh. The developing romances are great, with the way Lita's friend Emily goes after Adam's friend Dennis being a fantastic sub-plot. In addition, teens reading may get some sort of an insight into the dark and mysterious enigma that is what boys - and perhaps even girls - really want!
Strong recommendation, I've never read any of Pete Hautman's books before but will definitely check out some of his others!