Romance Where You Least Expect It
'The Importance of Getting Revenge' by Amanda Abram was a delightful read, chock full of some of the best themes that YA writing has to offer - a lovestruck girl, a deliriously hot guy (of which there were plenty, at least according to main character Lexi), a tried and true best friend, and conflicts galore. Everything from the characterizations to the dialogue was well-written, and does a fine job of keeping readers glued to the story.
After having been dumped by her also very good-looking boyfriend on the day she was planning to take the next step in their relationship with him, she finds herself thrown into a plan that her best friend helps her cook up, but which she goes full force into as the story proceeds. Lexi and best friend Trish figure that she needs to get revenge on her ex, Jeffrey, by making him jealous and upset at the fact that he ever let her get away. Lexi's thought on how to do this is to make Jase, Trish's older and very good-looking - not to mention very popular and extremely wanted by all of the girls - brother, her fake boyfriend for the sake of making Jeffrey jealous. It stands to reason that all of the guys in the book are likely more good-looking due to the fact that they all hang out together, are all jocks, etc., but Lexi is always so down about her own looks as well as incapable of seeing how interested anyone of the opposite sex could possibly be in her. However, she hangs out with Trish, who is very good-looking, even if she doesn't know it or flaunt it, and her whole circle of friends, or at least anyone she hangs around with, is also described as very easy on the eyes. Self-esteem can certainly be an issue for anyone, no matter how popular, but it seems that she would have some more confidence due to her circle of friends.
As the plan springs into action, Lexi sometimes find it hard to discern if Jase is just acting or if he is really trying to be the perfect boyfriend for her. She always attributes it to the former, because, at least in her mind, there is not the slightest possibility that he can have the hots for her, even though she is falling for him, despite all of her inner and outer protests to the contrary.
The story is populated with a variety of characters. Lexi's parents are pretty well captured, from her mom who desperately wants her with Jase and doesn't hide it, to her dad, who is around, but remains pretty oblivious to his daughter's life in general - especially her love life. Jase's guy friends - mainly Eric and Zach - help the plot move along nicely, and even Jeffrey, Lexi's ex, becomes more well-formed throughout the novel.
'The Importance of Getting Revenge' has a great vibe and will have girls drooling over Jase, while simultaneously empathizing with Lexi's plight, even though they know she doesn't really have a foot to stand on much of the time. The story is sweet and sentimental, combining memories of friendships past with the hope of future romance. A captivating read that will resonate with readers well past the last page.