The Queen of Second Place

Laura Peyton Roberts, Author . Delacorte $15.95 (324p) ISBN 978-0-385-73162-1

Anyone who has had to settle for second best will identify with narrator Cassie Howard, a high school sophomore with a drawer full of second-place ribbons. Cassie's biggest triumph would be to win a date to the Snow Ball with new student Kevin Matthews before her nemesis, "Fourteen-karat Carter" (Sterling Carter, a girl who is used to coming in first) claims him for her own. Most of Cassie's schemes to get noticed by Kevin backfire, creating a trail of disasters not quickly remedied. Getting herself out of awkward pickles soon proves to be as great a challenge to Cassie as her goal win Kevin's heart. Written in energetic first-person narrative, Roberts's (the Clearwater Crossing series) novel features a host of one-of-a kind characters, all of whom possess a special "talent." Cassie's best friend Hayley can whistle really loudly, Quentin can always find an empty space in a parking lot, no matter how full it seems, and Fitz has a knack for choosing the line that takes the longest ("maybe it will come in handy if he ever had to choose a line for something bad. Like a firing squad"). Suspenseful and often witty, this book makes losing by a hair seem almost fun. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 10/10/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
Genre: Children's
Mass Market Paperbound - 324 pages - 978-0-440-23871-3
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-307-43398-5
Library Binding - 324 pages - 978-0-385-90200-7
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