Authors: Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout
320 Pages–Ages 12 and up
Published by: Disney-Hyperion on December 27, 2011
Summary (from author’s website):
Fifteen year old Luisa Perez is not going to win any awards for school spirit. In fact, she and her friends make it a point to avoid all activities considered “extracurricular.” So when her English teacher volunteers her to be an anonymous columnist for the school paper, Luisa’s first impulse is to run. But, unlike her high-school dropout sister, Luisa does want to go to college—it may be her only ticket out of a life spent working at the cowboy-themed diner where she waitresses part time—and it would be nice to have something to put on her applications.
Her first assignment is to cover her high school’s latest fund-raiser, which pits the girls against the boys. Luisa will cover the events from the female point of view, while another anonymous writer provides the male perspective—or, at least, that’s how it begins. The two columnists soon find themselves engaged in an epic battle of the sexes—a battle that Luisa is determined to win, even if it means risking the best relationship she’s ever had.
After reading The Black Sheep by the same author I can’t honestly say I had high hopes for this book. I thought it would be another one of those lack-luster novels that I could finish but be unable to find full enjoyment in. Interestingly enough, I found this book to much more enjoyable than The Black Sheep mostly because there was a lot more romance.
Unlike my other reviews, I feel that I should start with the things that I liked about this book instead of launching into everything that I found to be less than satisfactory. First, I liked that there was a lot more romantic scenes. Although I must say that there are a lot of romances in general. Lu has like 5 potential boyfriends throughout, who when introduced I’m rooting for but then quickly they turn out to be jerks. Eventually I gave up hoping that the next guy would be her perfect guy. Russ was probably the worst. He first shows a lot of interest in Lu and I thought that their scenes were cute, but then he turns around and starts dating the resident queen bee, Mariah…a total jerk move. When Lu finally got around to being with Joey, I liked their scenes the most. Although, their scenes did end up in a lot of kissing, which while nice, doesn’t always count as “super cute romantic moments.”
Not everything about this story is completely predictable. The most predictable thing is that Scoop was obviously going to be Lu’s “soul-mate” and that whoever Scoop was, he was likely one of the many boys in Lu’s life. However, I didn’t really have any good guesses for who Scoop was going to be aside from the fact that whoever Lu ended up with would inevitably be Scoop. Can’t say I was that surprised when the identity of Scoop was revealed but at least it was something to look forward to before the end of the book.
Another thing that I liked was that Paz, Lu’s sister’s boyfriend, wasn’t a jerk. To say he was a good role model would be a stretch, but I liked that he fought for Grace, Lu’s sister, and would sometimes call Lu his sister-in-law, even though he and Grace weren’t married. He did come off a little strong at times when he was teasing Lu, but when she really needed him (like when she needed a bodyguard at school) he’s there for her. It’s a nice change from the stereotypical deadbeat dad.
There were some things that I didn’t like that it shared in common with The Black Sheep. First of all, the conflict that arises is so damaging to the main character that their world is practically falling apart. I know that makes for an interesting story, but after a while it gets kind of boring for me. I know that it is supposed to test the will of the main character and her relationship with all those important to them, but it gets kinda old. Sometimes I just like to read about internal struggles that the characters face without the rest of the world judging them.
There was one moment that I was so unhappy with that I almost put this book down. During the auction scene where Lu bids on Mac instead of Tyler who she promised to bid on! She spends $120 on Mac just for a chance to find out if he’s Scoop. I don’t know if I would ever, ever, EVER spend $120 on some jerk of a high school guy (unless it was an awesome, awesome, AWESOME date). She claims to her best friends that it is something she has to do and that she can’t control herself, but that’s just ridiculous! It was so mean/irrational/stupid/(insert any negative word here) that I couldn’t take it. I ALMOST (key word being almost) put the book down, but I decided to trudge through. Throughout this whole book I pretty much felt bad for Tyler. I feel like the only reason it didn’t work out with him and Lu is because Lu sabotaged it every chance she got.
This story was a predictable (though honestly, which isn’t?), but pleasant read. There isn’t any inappropriate scenes or language (maybe a few mild words), so most likely this will appeal to older middle school/younger high school girls. Lu had a bit more of a normal personality than most other protagonists of fluffy romances, and most of the supporting cast isn’t bad. Overall, I found this story to be likeable and worth reading. It’s unlikely I will ever be re-reading this story again but I still enjoyed it.