The (Not Quite) Perfect Boyfriend
by Lili Wilkinson
Allen & Unwin
Cliques, dating, and the school social scene are the focus of this Australian import. Midge, 16, is embarrassed to be lagging behind her friend Tahni in the boyfriend department, so she invents one on the spot. Her imaginary guy is an Englishman named Ben and before she realizes what she's doing, she's created a whole backstory for him. By complete chance, a transfer student matching this description arrives at school. The real Ben agrees to play along, blackmailing Midge in exchange for homework help. Midge is lovably nerdy - each chapter opens with a dictionary definition, and she obsesses about proper grammar. Über-geek George might seem to be a better match for her, but even she can't lower her standards enough to date a live-action role-player. Her parents' possible divorce amps up the stress before everything is pleasantly resolved. This is a surprisingly lighthearted, funny book, peppered with Australian slang. Teen drinking (legal in Australia) is handled as routine. Fans of Louise Rennison's Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series or Carolyn Mackler's The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things will find a lot to like in this frothy offering.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
This review first appeared in School Library Journal.