How To Break a Boy

320p. Imprint. Jan. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250082862.
Gr 10 Up—Olivia and her best friend, Adrienne, are the definition of mean girls. This inseparable pair have ruled over the small town of Buckley for years, using manipulation, intimidation, and cruelty. At the height of Olivia's power, her carefully constructed life comes crashing to a halt when her older brother dies in a tragic accident. Her inability to process her brother's death, combined with catching her boyfriend sleeping with Adrienne, brings Olivia to a breaking point. She realizes that in order to become a better person, she must turn her life around, and that means cutting out Adrienne, but Olivia knows that Adrienne won't let her go without a fight. Olivia turns to the town golden boy, Whit Du Rant, to help her re-create her image, while simultaneously trying to take down Adrienne. Olivia's plan spins out of control, though, after Adrienne begins targeting Whit with her destructive tactics. This is a classic tale of high school drama and redemption, with many common young adult tropes used throughout. Olivia's character is hard to root for because she is such an unlikable person, but through her relationship with Whit, she is able to redeem herself somewhat.
VERDICT While the plot isn't very original, this title will have definite teen appeal. A good fit for fans of the "Pretty Little Liars" series or works by Sarah Dessen.

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