This sharp-witted debut pours on the wry comedy as a brainiac girl tries to hide her intelligence so she can be popular.
In middle school, Nora was not only the teachers' pet, but “their teacup Chihuahua.” With both parents university professors, excelling in school is a family priority. Nora wants to be popular as a sophomore at her new high school, so to her feminist mother’s dismay, she turns her gymnastics training into a spot on the cheerleading squad. Even better, she attracts the attention of dumb-as-a-post football-hero Jake and sits at the popular table in the cafeteria. But she instantly loses her heart to handsome Adam, another newcomer who’s as smart as she is. Having already dropped her AP classes, Nora traps herself in a tangle of lies to get into Adam’s. Her schemes predictably backfire, and she becomes a pariah in the school. Can Nora turn things around to win her friends back and, more importantly, win Adam’s heart? Valentine has a bright sense of humor, pitching it at those readers who can identify with Nora. Although the book gets a tad preachy, readers will discern that Adam is attracted to Nora and laugh as her efforts to get closer to him work against her in a continuing comedy of errors.
Smart and witty. (Fiction. 12 & up)