Contemporary Young Adult
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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 fist fight 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.
What Boys Really Want is a cute story that superficially illustrates a few of the fundamental differences in the way men and women think in a light, humorous way using two teenagers as the token representatives for their gender. There are no groundbreaking or overly astute observations and analyses of gender relations, but nor are there meant to be, instead we get to enjoy a quick romp through a world of misunderstandings and drama created by the lack of effective communication from one person to the next. We’ve all surely experienced such situations, and probably have made the quick judgments of character quality based on appearance and rumor as Lita does, so it’s an easy story to fall into despite the fact that once we’re in we really don’t wade in more than ankle deep.
Lita and Adam are more than opposites in just sex, their personalities placing them on opposite ends of the spectrum from one another and resulting in rather hilarious interactions that seem to be taken directly from our own lives as we’ve tried to communicate with members of the other gender. Lita is a meddler, constantly insinuating herself into the lives and happenings of others whether invited or not, dispensing snarky advice and generally focusing outward instead of dwelling on her own life. Adam, on the other hand, is distinctively more internal, often in his own little world and slightly oblivious to the thoughts and actions of those around him which causes him no shortage of trouble with both best friend Lita and with life in general. We don’t necessarily feel a strong connection to either character, but our time spent with them is enjoyable in a more shallow way, allowing us to walk away amused yet not inclined to sprint to our computers or phones to find someone with whom to share our reaction.
What Boys Really Want is the perfect read for those looking for a book that’s not overly emotional, dark, or intense, but who instead want to briefly escape into a relatable and familiar world that brings a quick laugh and then lets them go easily to move on to something perhaps more poignant or profound. This book is akin to an episode of Seinfeld: we’re not sure exactly what it’s about other than a brief snippet of time in the lives of others, but it’s enjoyable just the same. Mr. Hautman has a wonderful sense of humor, one that’s the perfect appetizer to get us in the mood for perhaps something slightly richer and more layered where the emotions are truly visceral and the reading experience a bit more powerful.