Lark Dayton finally finds a boy she wants to make out with for longer than a few weeks.
Lark’s best friends, Katie and Cooper (who is gay and of Persian descent), agree on nothing except that Lark is afraid of commitment. Before anything gets too serious, she convinces boys to break up with her. With nothing seemingly at stake, Lark accepts her friends’ challenge to get a boy to fall for her, someone different than the popular boys she usually chooses, so she can truly break his heart by having the backbone to end the relationship herself. Ardy Tate causes her to feel things both new and unfamiliar, but Lark worries that he loves his best friend, Hope, who is Chinese-American with gay dads. (Lark, Katie, and Ardy are assumed white.) When Lark discovers unsettling rumors surrounding Ardy’s past, she investigates, hoping to destroy his status as “Undateable.” Despite her nonchalance regarding the long list of exes, readers will feel for Lark, who is learning to understand first love, combating the pressure she feels from friends, and struggling to deal with her parents’ constant fighting. Insights into first-time sex and the unfairness of judging others by their pasts are genuine, giving the story an emotional depth that is more valuable than its lighthearted premise.
A surprisingly pleasant read that emphasizes the importance of breaking patterns and making our own choices. (Fiction. 13-18)