A star high school quarterback bets he can get the attention of a girl who claims not to be interested by leading a protest for a cause she champions.
Omar “T-Diddy” Smalls has the swagger that comes with his exalted status. The fact that he has moved to Charleston, S.C., from Brooklyn adds to his aura, and he attracts the attention of every desirable girl at school—except for Claudia Clarke, who calls him “immature, shallow [and a] fraud.” Omar never runs away from a challenge, and he bets his friends that Claudia will become his next conquest. Socially conscious, Claudia is more interested in protesting budget cuts that will wipe out the arts, the library and other school activities—excluding sports—than in Omar. Omar uses his considerable charisma and stories from his activist uncle to lead a successful protest and bring the impending cuts much-needed attention. Through working together, Omar develops genuine feelings for Claudia, and she finds herself drawn to him. Told in alternating chapters by each of the main characters, this lively romance has humor and heart. The use of social media anchors the story in today’s culture, while the banter between Omar and Claudia is clever and sounds just right for two smart, college-bound teens.
Urban-fiction readers will enjoy this, but it will also appeal to any teen reader seeking a romantic read with lots of fun. (Fiction. 14 & up)