What Boys Really Want -- Pete Hautman
Adam: ...arguing with Lita is like trying to eat an ice-cream cone from the bottom up. Very messy.
Lita: Arguing with Adam Merchant is as useless as climbing up a down escalator. Maybe you get to the top eventually, but it's exhausting, and the escalator just keeps on going.
Adam and Lita have been best friends since kindergarten, but that time hasn't been without drama. Adam is unaware of it, but Lita has a habit of meddling in his romantic relationships, and is responsible for at least 2 of his 3 1/3 breakups.
Lita's a writer, like her mother, and has been working on her own novel for a few years now. For the last few months, though, she's been distracted by Miz Fitz, her advice blogging alter-ego. No one knows that she's Miz Fitz, not even Adam. But now Adam's writing a self-help book for girls about how to understand guys, and he's getting a whole lot of attention for it... which is really ticking Lita off.
I'm not a huge fan of Jane Austen's Emma Woodhouse (the character, not the book), so it isn't surprising that for almost the entire duration of this book, I wanted to slap Lita silly. After all, Emma's kind of her role model.
Yes, Adam does do her wrong, but it was mostly innocently done. She, on the other hand, was perfectly happy breaking up his relationships, creating and spreading rumors about other people, and just being generally unpleasant. I really didn't like her. I'm not sure I can remember having such a negative reaction to a heroine in a long, long time. I adored the excerpts from her romance novel, though:
The Countess Ravishia, desirous of the attentions of one Guido Barkwallow, sent a messenger bearing a single black rose. Guido, knowing that all of the mad countess's previous lovers had come to bad ends, wept. Still, he was unable to resist her summons, and set forth immediately for Wanderlust.
That said, I liked Adam, who was a bit clueless, but had a good heart. And I liked Blair. And there were some hugely hilarious moments, like when a bunch of girls grill Adam about his work-in-progress:
Chelsea said, "What about boners? Will it explain boners?"
"Boners?" I felt my face getting hot.
"Yeah," said Chelsea. "Like, how often do you get them."
"Like, do you have one right now?" asked Blair.
"No!" I didn't, but I was afraid to stand up because when I did, they'd all be looking at my crotch.
And, yes, I know: I do have an immature soft spot for 'boner' jokes. I assure you, there were other hilarious, boner-free moments.
Not my favorite Pete Hautman, but perfectly serviceable, and as we all know, even merely serviceable Hautman is better than a whole lot of other stuff that's out there.
Book source: ILLed through my library.