Readers will find 'Challenge Accepted' by Amanda Abram hard to put down. Her writing style perfectly captures teenage life, from the steadfast friendships to the certainty that one knows what is right for oneself without necessarily seeing the bigger picture.
Abrams' main character, Emma, is literally the girl next door. Yet, despite all of the stories that say otherwise, that does not mean it is a match made in heaven with the boy next door. In fact, it means exactly the opposite. Logan, her next door neighbor, who also happens to be her father's best friend's son, is more like her nemesis. They get on each other's last nerve, and this is only exacerbated by the fact that Logan cheats on a charity compatibility test and winds up with Emma as his supposed "perfect match."
While Logan's reasoning for lying on the test doesn't hold much water - that he wanted to give his girlfriend a reason to break up with him if he wasn't compatible with her - his decision is a good one. Grace is not the kind of person one wants to be involved with, but more importantly, not the type of person one wants to cross. Logan's choice only compounds problems for him, especially when it comes to Emma, who he finds himself helping, despite everything he stands for telling him he shouldn't.
Logan's egocentric, jerky way of acting around Emma is truly frustrating at times, but the underlying emotions that begin to come out as he spends time with her are realistically developed, as are Emma's own feelings about Logan, as he tries to help her find her "real" compatibility test match.
The parents in the story and Logan's and Emma's friends provide some much needed perspective that the two main characters are loathe to accept much of the time. Sometimes it's hardest to see what is right in front of you, and Logan and Emma are no exception to this.
A story about the power of reshaping past impressions and forging bonds that seemed impossible, Logan and Emma's relationship in 'Challenge Accepted' is a testament to Amanda Abrams' dynamic writing style. Readers will be flipping pages well into the night and dying to get back to the story the next day.