Looking for a boyfriend takes on a whole new meaning when 14-year-old Kara starts her research project.
Kara, a self-proclaimed geek, decides to find a boyfriend using the scientific method. This initially involves covert observation of her subject: boys. She keeps detailed index cards, and the novel is decorated with her charts, graphs and lists. The project eventually becomes a science-fair project that also utilizes Facebook for a love survey. When her best friend Tabbi gets a boyfriend first, unfortunately with Kara’s crush, it takes Kara some time to remember that she needs her best friend more than a she needs a boyfriend. This middle-school drama is hip to the moment, with break-up texting, kissing and popularity tug of wars. The boy obsession becomes tiresome, but Kara’s irrepressible spirit, clever wit and introspection save this story from vapidity. Kara’s hilarious observations, as when she compares feigning happiness to the difficulty of fastening the, like, 15 hooks of her 87-year-old grandma’s bra, keep it buoyant. As she becomes increasingly discerning, Kara realizes that being true to oneself is the coolest asset.
Kara’s boy-crazy experiment lends refreshing perspective on teen relationships, and the results point to self-enlightenment. (Fiction. 10-13)