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Home > Book, Book Review, Contemporary, Reviews, Young Adult > Book Review – The Boyfriend Thief by Shana Norris

Book Review – The Boyfriend Thief by Shana Norris

December 13, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Book Description:

Avery James has her life planned out: this summer she’ll work with a humanitarian program in Costa Rica, next year she’ll graduate at the top of her class, and after that, college and medical school. Perfect, planned, total order.

The only problem: getting the rest of the money she needs for the trip before the deadline. Hannah Cohen, her biggest competition for the valedictorian title, makes an unexpected offer: If Avery can win over Zac Greeley and make him break up with Hannah before the end of the school year, a check for five hundred dollars is all hers. Faced with the prospect of spending yet another summer working as a giant hot dog, it’s an offer Avery can’t refuse.

Zac is nothing like Avery expected. Within his chaotic world of midnight slushie runs and spontaneous dance parties, her total order is quickly falling apart while Hannah seems poised to get everything she wants. But just how much is Avery willing to give up for the perfect, planned life?

*

I have to say that Shana Norris’s self-published book The Boyfriend Thief is a pretty good read. I think it’s a good option to consider if you’re looking for a book for a younger girl who wants something that’s quick & easy to read. It has a good mix of drama & humor plus some non-preachy life lessons, and it’s written in such a way that the author managed to elevate the book above what you’d expect from the cliché plot. You know, the one where someone makes a bet (or is hired to do the job, as in this case) to make someone fall in love with him or her, but pretty soon, it’s no longer just a case of pretending …

Yeah, it’s a familiar story, but I found myself really enjoying The Boyfriend Thief. And I even started off not liking the narrator (Avery) at all in the first chapter (since she came off to me as entitled, uptight and whiny!) But then, as the story went on, Avery really got under my skin. I liked how the author was able to show that Avery’s struggle to show the perfect front was just her covering up for the lonely girl within her who just never felt good enough. By the time I reached the part where everything blows up in Avery’s face, I was really pulling for things to turn out alright for her in the end. And it’s not just Avery – I thought that Ms Norris did a good job with her teenage characters – they have much more depth to them, and a lot of the kids don’t turn out as I expected from when I first met them, particularly Avery’s frenemy Elliott. The dialogue does need a bit of work (the kids sounded younger than sixteen), but I could overlook that.

I also really liked how Ms Norris showed us how the friendship-romance developed slowly between Avery and Zac (the guy she was supposed to be the ‘boyfriend thief’ for). It didn’t feel forced at all, and they were really cute together. Besides, I really can’t think why any teenage girl wouldn’t like Zac – he’s funny, kind, smarter than anybody gave him any credit for, and actually pretty cool in a not-rockstar-way 🙂 I think that Zac would really appeal to the tween readers.

The author also scored points with me for how she was able to show Avery and Zac dealing with  family and friend issues without taking away from the plot. I think a lot of kids would be able to relate, and might take away some lessons without feeling preached at. The ending is a bit corny, but hey, it was corny-cute at least 🙂

The Boyfriend Thief by Shana Norris (Self-published) is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition.

The eBook is also available at B&N, Sony, Apple iBooks and at Smashwords.

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