cover image Fake Boyfriend

Fake Boyfriend

Kate Brian, . . S&S, $16.99 (262pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-1367-2

After Isabelle gets dumped yet again by her sleazy boyfriend, her two well-meaning friends invent a dream guy for her, hoping to cheer her up (and keep her from taking him back). Domineering, sharp-tongued Vivi overrides meek Lane’s objections and has Lane help create a MySpace page for “Brandon,” then gets her younger brother to pretend to be him while IM’ing Izzy; later Vivi bribes Jonathan, a boy from a neighboring school, to pose as Brandon and ask Isabelle to the prom. Readers can guess that this scheme does not turn out to be as “harmless” as Vivi envisions, especially when she herself falls for Jonathan. In fact, except for a few small twists toward the end, the book follows a predictable course, right down to the girls’ personal growth (Lane, for example, finally stands up to Vivi). This would be easier to swallow if Brian’s (Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys ) characterizations were more imaginative or her prose less standard-issue (“Her logic didn’t make her heart hurt any less, and it didn’t make the unshed tears recede from her eyes”). Ultimately, the inevitable chaos—and happy ending—may be all that keep readers turning pages. Ages 14-up. (Dec.)