My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan

Seth Rudetsky. Random, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-375-86915-0
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Justin, the 15-year-old narrator of actor/writer Rudetsky’s (Broadway Nights) droll YA debut, wants more than anything to be popular and to land the attention of Chuck, the handsome school quarterback. His obstacles include his looks (he’s overweight), Chuck’s heterosexuality, and constant bullying by some of his classmates. When Justin learns that Chuck and his girlfriend, Becky, need to hide their relationship from Becky’s father, he sees an opportunity—pretending to date Becky and covering for the lovebirds—while also getting to spend more time with Chuck. Justin’s plan is met with skepticism by his best friend, Spencer, whose attempts to help Justin overcome his shallowness generally fail. Rudetsky avoids lettings things spiral so far out of control that they turn into slapstick, but he throws in enough misunderstandings to keep the humor and drama flowing. The bullying subplot wraps up too neatly and with too few consequences, and Justin’s real 11th-hour romance is also too easy, but Justin’s acerbic narration compensates, making this an energetic twist on the typical high school romance and hijinks novel. Ages 12–up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/2011
Release date: 01/24/2012
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-375-87324-9
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-375-89997-3
Library Binding - 211 pages - 978-0-375-96915-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-1431-1
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