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by Pete Hautman

Age Range: 13 - 17

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-545-11315-1
Publisher: Scholastic

High-school student Adam Merchant is writing a small volume on what boys and girls really want, an irresistible topic for his classmates.

It takes him a whole month to write it, but lifting much of the information from a Miz Fitz advice-column blog makes the work go much faster. When finished, the $10 self-published work becomes so popular it attracts the attention of a real publisher. Little does Adam know that his on-and-off-again friend Lita Wold is Miz Fitz, who’s not thrilled when she realizes that Adam has stolen her words. Told in Adam’s and Lita’s alternating voices, this is 300-plus pages of tedious teen banter over what boys and girls really think, plus a disappointingly mind-numbing subplot that finds Dennis liking Blair while Lita thinks he ought to like Emily, and other high-school drama. Originally, as explained in the acknowledgments, Hautman was to write Adam’s part, and a female writer was going to write Lita’s part, but the project was dropped when it became no longer fun. Years later, the project was revived, but it’s still not fun, though it has its moments of humor and will certainly appeal to teen readers looking for an easy read and cheap thrills.

A title that ought to be as appealing as the book Adam publishes but isn't; Hautman is capable of far better. (Fiction. 13-17)