cover image Girl/Invented Romanc

Girl/Invented Romanc

Caroline B. Cooney. Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, $13.95 (176pp) ISBN 978-0-553-05473-6

Cooney, in such books as Among Friends and Saturday Night, has explored the many faces of love several times. Here she rolls all her expertise into one book, with a thoughtful heroine who needs to know how she stacks up in the game of love. Kelly actually invents a board game called ""Romance,'' at first for fun and then for a classroom assignment. The game is a success and so is Kelly's love lifeshe gets Will, who was targeted early in the book as the boy to watch. The rest comprises one philosophical question after another: Can there be true love between people who seem more concerned with exchanging frivolous gifts? How can anything on earth be as unfair as unrequited love? What does a girl do about the truly self-centered people among her friends? (Grin and bear them.) This is not new territory to any fan of the romance novel, but Cooney writes with such clarity of her characters' entanglements that she brings fresh perspective to the game. Ages 10-up. (April)