Tags: YA, battle of the sexes, high school journalism
Luisa Perez and her best friends have mastered the art of not participating in their high school, Dunfield aka "Dumpfield’s" extracurricular activities. That is, until sophomore year brings a literacy challenge to the city, girls against boys. The prize for which group raises the most money for literacy awareness? Extra weeks of winter break.
Lu is snagged to write an anonymous column about the fundraising effort, exchanging words with a male counterpart. The debate between “Scoop” and “Newshound” becomes heated and turns into a battle of the sexes, and their column gains more popularity as a result.
However, heated exchanges occur in other aspects of Lu’s life, too. Her family life is not the best, what with her overbearing older sister constantly talking her down, and having to fend off the raucous male factory workers at the diner where she works. But there are plenty of opportunities for possible romance—sometimes in the most unexpected of places…unless the effects of the literacy column destroy any chance that Lu has at love.
GIRL V. BOY was a pleasant, if predictable, read. I have trouble describing how I felt about it, and yet when I was reading it I couldn’t put it down. Lu and her friends and classmates are fun to read about. The conversations that Luisa has with all of her "suitors" is snappy and witty, which made me smile and hang on to the story where otherwise I thought it got a little unbelievable and unexplained. I mean, to have four different boys going after you at the same time? Family issues that seem serious but are never elaborated or resolved, making them feel as if they were just placed in the story to give it a little bit more conflict than a straightforward soap opera-ish plot? I got frustrated at some points, wanting to understand Luisa's life more than what she gives us in this book.
The ending was predictable, yes, but the beginning and middle were not so much, thus sparing me from reading something painfully boring. GIRL V. BOY was definitely an enjoyable read that will appeal to high school girls looking for a hearty dose of rapid-fire battle-of-the-sexes dialogue and a solid romance.
Robin Benway (Audrey, Wait!)
Gayle Forman (If I Stay)
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5
Cover Discussion: 3 out of 5 - Hurrah for a cover that actually shows faces... but what in the world?? For a story set in Chicago, at a high school where there are nine other girls named Luisa Perezes, the models are not as I imagined them to look like. Furthermore, what's with the heavy gender stereotyping? The pink fluffy pen? Ack.