What Boys Really Want by Pete Hautman. Scholastic, 2012.
Lita Wold and Adam Merchant have been friends since they were very young, and now they are juniors at Wellstone High School. Lita, who is working on a romance novel, aspires to be a writer like her famous author mother. Unbeknownst to anyone, Lita also secretly writes an advice blog under the alias, Miz Fitz, doling out answers on dating and boys. Adam, on the other hand, has no interest in writing, so Lita is surprised, but also a little upset, when Adam announces his intentions to write a book on what boys really want from their relationships with girls. Writing a book turns out to be a lot of work, so Adam ends up obtaining much of his book from material he finds online. Unfortunately, a good bit of it comes from Miz Fitz’s blog!
What Boys Really Want is a quick, playful read about relationships built on a book about relationships! It is told in the alternating voices of Lita and Adam and spiced up with “quotes” from Lita’s Miz Fitz blog and Adam’s book. There is a lot of humor in the book; I found myself laughing out loud at some of the scenes in the novel!
I loved both Lita and Adam. Lita is a sarcastic, tough realist; she tells it like it is. Adam is exactly the opposite; he is easy-going, fun-loving, and happy-go-lucky. Adam’s eventual love interest, Blair, who some students think is a “skank”, actually has the same type personality as Lita. It is no surprise Adam is drawn to her. Dennis, Adam’s friend, is the typical geeky tech guy. I was delighted to find that two school librarians figure prominently in the story. One is the strict, stereotypical librarian, and the other is a cool, laid-back bibliophile.
The dialogue is realistic and believable, and the teen interactions are spot-on. The blog and book snippets at the beginning of each chapter add a lot to the mood of the book. There are some surprises and twists in the story that I did not expect! Although the book is a little over three hundred pages, it did not take long to read at all.
Teens will easily relate to the events, dialogue, and characters in the book! I recommend What Boys Really Want to middle school, high school, and public libraries.
**Note: The copy reviewed was an advanced reader's copy obtained from Library Media Connection in exchange for an honest review.