cover image Love? Maybe.

Love? Maybe.

Heather Hepler. Dial, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3721-1

Hepler (The Cupcake Queen) pens an energetic Valentine’s Day tale for romantics and cynics alike. High school student Piper Paisley falls into the latter category—her birthday coincides with Valentine’s Day, but she dismisses the holiday as a “capitalist scam” and has bigger problems than a lack of a boyfriend. Between helping her busy mother care for her younger siblings, working for local confectioner Jan the Candy Man, competing on the swim team, and trying to keep up with schoolwork, she barely has time to breathe. After Piper’s friend Claire is dumped, their friend Jillian comes up with “The Plan,” which involves their getting dates by Valentine’s Day with help from a love potion. Gifts start showing up in Piper’s locker, and her longtime crush asks her out, but she remains skeptical, as well as oblivious to the person who’s been falling for her all along. While the story’s romantic trajectories are fairly transparent and the story ends tidily, readers seeking a romance with sweet, salty, and spicy moments (not unlike Jan’s candies) should be entertained. Ages 12–up. (Jan.)