With school pictures, a history pop quiz, a speech in front of the student body, and varsity softball tryouts, Ellie, a junior, finds herself repeating the same maddening day until she gets it right.
Not an original premise, Brody's theme is that one must not only learn how to be true to oneself, but figure out who are the people who truly matter and demonstrate affection. Parents, younger sister Hadley, and, most of all, best friend forever Owen have taken a back seat to the relationship with rock-star wannabe Tristan. Though the story follows the well-known romantic formula of good looks vs. forever friend, there is still plenty of entertainment along the way. Ellie is smart enough in the end to know some dreams belong to others and which dreams of her own she can abandon in order to move beyond the hitch in her universe. An oddly antique playlist of ’60s music serves as both background and chapter headings. No readers at all familiar with the plot device will be surprised as to the steps required to succeed and the ultimate outcome. Nonetheless, there are still some tender moments in this world of white, middle-class concerns, fittingly accompanied with only a hint of anything hotter than a kiss.
Solidly nonsmutty fare for readers who want to imagine they can get it right too. (Romance. 12-16)