cover image Girlfriend Material

Girlfriend Material

Melissa Kantor, Author . Disney-Hyperion $15.99 (251p) ISBN 97

Kantor (The Breakup Bible ) writes a funny and intimate story of summer romance and family conflict featuring 16-year-old Kate, who wishes she could be more like the independent heroine of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises , Lady Brett Ashley (“without a doubt the coolest woman in the world”). But Kate's plans to spend a peaceful summer writing, reading and playing tennis go awry when her mother, wanting a temporary separation from Kate's father, whisks Kate away to stay with old friends at their summer house in Cape Cod. Besides resenting being uprooted, Kate feels uncomfortable around the friends' daughter, Sarah, who is less than pleased to have Kate tagging along. Amusingly neurotic as a narrator, Kate gradually gains confidence as she cultivates friendships with other teenagers, especially cute Adam (“Was it my imagination, or did he say big serious relationship as if it were a repugnant political party”). The changes in Kate are both gradual and realistic, as she learns painful lessons about love, her parents' failing marriage and her own needs. Her emotional journey and acute self-consciousness are likely to strike a chord. Ages 12–up. (May)