The Replacement Crush

400p. ebook available. Entangled Teen. Sept. 2016. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781633755048.
Gr 8 Up—A light love story, full of fun, flirty, and friendly characters. Vivian is crushed on the first day of school when she learns her summer fling with Jake was only that—a temporary romance. She concocts a plan to seek a replacement crush: someone who doesn't register more than a five on her "zing" meter. Her friends Jaz and Amy help out with the plan. All proceeds rationally until a new boy, Dallas, shows up at school. Viv is drawn to him but tamps down those feelings even as time and time again the two are unwittingly thrown together. When they finally kiss and Viv's zing meter goes haywire, she knows that for logic to prevail, she must push Dallas away. An incognito rock star, a few beach parties, and a talent show are thrown in to upset Viv's logical plan. The predictable yet playful plot will suck in romance seekers. Vivian's references to her feelings are often laugh-out-loud funny: "My hormones were like drunken monkeys in the cockpit of my heart." Even though the characters are high school students, the language stays fairly tame. One attempted rape scene, while not explicit and certainly needed to further reveal character, is loaded with enough realistic tension to make this better suited for older readers.
VERDICT Teens will see themselves in these characters and will root for a Dallas/Vivian match from the first chapter. A recommended choice for romance shelves.

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