cover image It’s Kind of a Cheesy Love Story

It’s Kind of a Cheesy Love Story

Lauren Morrill. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-374-30621-2

Being the “Hot ’N Crusty Bathroom Baby” is 16-year-old Beck Brix’s claim to fame, and the bane of her existence. Even the local news covered her birth on a pizza parlor ladies’ room floor, and “no one grows out of anything in a small town”—especially when she takes a job at the Hot ’N Crusty to cover gas, car insurance, and her fancy friend group’s weekend shopping trips. But it’s not so bad; she starts to feel more comfortable with the pizza crew than with her cool school friends, and more able to let out her inner nerd. Plus, the brusque delivery guy, Tristan, is kind of cute. Morrill (Better than the Best Plan) makes Brix believable and likable, and gives her a distinct voice (she nearly “melts into a puddle of Beck” when her hunky crush sits next to her), even as she knows she should say hello to her co-worker at school—and doesn’t. It’s unfortunate, though, that Beck’s big lesson on being true to herself is largely courtesy of Tristan rather than her own exploration. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Stephen Barbara, InkWell Management. (Mar.) [/em]