What Boys Really Want by Pete Hautman

8:00 AM

Title: What Boys Really Want
Author: Pete Hautman
Release Date: January 1, 2012 (hardcover)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 304
Source: Copy provided by Scholastic Canada

Overall: 2.5 Stars

National Book Award-winning author Pete Hautman lets us in on the secret.

Lita is the writer. Adam is the entrepreneur. They are JUST FRIENDS.

So Adam would never sell copies of a self-help book before he'd even written it. And Lita would never try to break up Adam's relationship with Blair, the skankiest girl at school. They'd never sabotage their friends Emily and Dennis. Lita would never date a guy related to a girl she can't stand. They'd never steal each other's blog posts. And Adam would never end up in a fistfight with Lita's boyfriend. Nope, never.

Adam and Lita might never agree on what happened, but in this hilarious story from Pete Hautman, they manage to give the world a little more insight into what boys and girls are really looking for. 

My Thoughts:
I really did want to like Pete Hautman's What Boys Really Want so much more, but sadly, it wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I read Hautman's The Big Crunch last year and thought it was a delightful, quirky contemporary novel that deserved some more love than it had received... so when I began reading his latest novel, I was hoping it would be along these similar lines. That didn't happen.

There was nothing really likeable or endearing about any of the characters, which made it rather difficult for me to actually care what happened to them. When Adam suddenly decides that he'll write a book about relationships, Lita scoffs and laughs at the idea. And for good reason, because he's such an unlikely person you'd ever expect to spend time writing anything. Surprisingly, he doesn't give up on the idea though... but he's completely clueless that most of his book is actually plagiarized and taken from a blogger named Miz Fitz who gives relationship advice on her blog. I mean, how does any high school student not know what plagiarism is?

And then there's Lita, whose biggest secret is that she's the mastermind behind the Miz Fitz blog, a fact nobody else knows. As Miz Fitz, she replies to reader questions with the kind of sarcasm she never would have used in person. (These were fun to read!) When she learns that Adam is writing a book, she becomes jealous and starts pulling away from him because she's always wanted to be a writer. Instead, she turns her attentions to helping her best friend, Emily, go out with the fellow student she's been seriously crushing on. Normally, I would think Lita was being a supportive friend... but I just couldn't agree with the superficial methods she told her to do.

It hurts to say it, but I was disappointed with how What Boys Really Want turned out to be. There wasn't really any character development and I found it hard to find acceptance in their actions. The novel had a great premise with tons of potential to really explore relationships... but in the end, the result just didn't live up to my expectations.

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  1. Just from the description I don't feel like reading this book, and the review confirmed it, I don't think I could spend that much time with two characters like these, they don't sound likable at all!

    *gives cookie* I hope your next read turns out better.

  2. This really wouldn't be my type of book anyways! Nice review. I don't think I would have finished it, if "I wasn't feeling it".