HOW TO BREAK A BOY by Laurie Devore


Age Range: 15 - 17
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If the Heathers had had smartphones.

Olivia has spent years in the shadow of her best friend, popular cruel girl Adrienne. When she catches Adrienne and her boyfriend, Ryan, in flagrante, Olivia takes revenge by sending screen shots of incriminating texts from Adrienne’s phone to their peers but makes the mistake of not actually reading what she’s forwarding. As a result, Olivia reveals some very sensitive information, including outing their friend Claire as a lesbian. Olivia then sets out to atone for her mean-girl ways by trying to knock Adrienne off her throne and stop her reign of terror. She associates herself with nice guy Whit, school golf champ and salutatorian, whom Adrienne hates. If people think Olivia is going out with Whit, they’ll see she’s better than Adrienne, won't they? The characters’ whingeing back and forth about who’s the worst human being is tedious, and their motivations are often confusing. Olivia rejects “dyke” as a pejorative, but repeated, unquestioned use of “slut” may not sit well with some readers. Olivia’s small South Carolina town appears to be all-white. Adrienne is described as “dark,” both in personality and appearance, with dark hair and eyes and ambiguously “tan” skin; another girl has brown skin, but most characters who merit a description are blond.

Confusing, directionless, and unremarkable. (Fiction. 15-17)

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-250-08286-2
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Imprint
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2016


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