A genuinely fresh spin on Pygmalion in high school.
Cuban-American Analee prefers to spend her time online, avoiding her feelings and absorbed in a role-playing game and chatting with a boy named Harris, whom she’s never met in person (she lives in Florida and he is in Seattle). Her desire to stay away from the real world only gets greater when her father announces that he and his girlfriend of 11 months, a hippie named Harlow, are engaged. This is difficult for Analee to accept, in part because she is still grieving the death of her mother a few years earlier. As if that isn’t enough, Analee is forced to become lab partners with Seb, a member of the popular crew at school that sees Analee as a loser—and that also includes her ex–best friend, Lily. As they get to know each other, Seb and Analee become not friends but fake boyfriend and girlfriend so that Seb can make his ex-girlfriend Chloe jealous. What follows is what you’d expect in any romantic comedy, all leading up to every romantic comedy’s classic point of climax—a wedding. The familiarity of the setup and plot doesn’t mean the writing and characters aren’t authentic and multilayered. The novel is funny and affecting, well-balanced, and simply fun. The supporting cast of characters is racially diverse.
A romantic comedy that reminds readers why the genre has such lasting appeal. (Fiction. 14-18)