cover image Little Miss Red

Little Miss Red

Robin Palmer. Penguin/Speak, $7.99 (254pp) ISBN 978-0-14-241123-0

Sophie is obsessed with the Devon Devoreaux romance series, imagining herself as the heroine in such novels as Lassoed by Lust and Battered by Betrayal , in which Devon meets millionaire playboys or dates South American dictators. Sophie’s real-life love life pales in comparison, as she’s stuck in a listless relationship with her boyfriend, Michael. But after Michael “push[es] the pause button” on their relationship, Sophie, on a flight to Florida, meets Jack, a boy who seems ripped from the pages of her beloved romances (“Not only was he the hottest guy I had ever seen in person, but as I stood up to let him get to his seat, our arms touched and I immediately knew we were soul mates”). Unfortunately, both of Palmer’s (Geek Charming ) romantic leads are rather unlikable, with Sophie portrayed as awkward and naïve and Jack as clueless and cheesy. The humor tends toward the corny, and Sophie’s character can be summed up through her observation: “There was only so much a girl could focus on when a hot guy was holding her hand and scrambling her brain.” Ages 12–up. (Feb.)