This light teenage romance with a reality-show twist is entertaining and forgivably predictable.
Getting good grades and into an Ivy League college are 17-year-old Addy’s two goals in life. So when her principal taps her to represent her school on the new reality TV show The Book of Love, Addy isn’t thrilled, despite the show’s prize of a date to the prom with Jonathon Jackson, the son of the president of the United States. Looking to be sent home quickly, unlike the other 99 girls, Addy doesn’t fawn over the First Son and instead chooses to just be herself, which, to her dismay, endears her to viewers and prolongs her stay. Addy’s positive attention attracts some serious nastiness from her competitors and the show’s director, Hank, which convinces Addy that her purpose on the show is to really share her faith. Relying on Christianity, Addy musters the courage to persevere, just like her deceased missionary parents, who are referenced throughout. Short transcripts of interviews with the show's participants are sprinkled between chapters, underscoring the vapid nature of the other girls.
Although reality shows and religion don’t usually mix, this text blends both well and serves up Addy as a believable and endearing heroine. (Fiction. 12-15)