From School Library Journal
Gr 5-7–For Tori Barnes, choosing the perfect outfit for the first day of school is essential and has always required the help of her friend Sierra for weeks beforehand. But now everything is different. Sierra's family recently became rich, and when they spent the entire summer on the beach relaxing, Sierra didn't stay in touch. When Tori arrives for the first day of seventh grade, she can hardly believe it. With her new hair extensions, clothes, and tan, Sierra has reached celebrity status. She even claims to have a boyfriend, Antonio, whom she met on vacation. Tori suspects that Sierra may be making him up, however, and she decides to invent a boyfriend for herself, sparking a competition between the girls as to who has the best (fake) relationship. Soon the lies begin to spiral out of control and Tori longs to have her old friend back. Springer writes in authentic tween language. The story takes place in a suburb of Chicago, but could easily be transported to any school in the United States. Tori is a well-rounded character, both likable and relatable. The themes will resonate with any girl who's ever gone through the hardships of middle school: friendship, boys, popularity, and, most importantly, choosing to do the right, but often more difficult, thing. A fun read.Kimberly Castle, Medina County District Library, OH
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Twelve-year-old Tori doesn’t understand why her longtime BFF Sienna blew her off while vacationing in Florida. And when Sienna shows up on the first day of seventh grade with a fabulous new look, a new long-distance boyfriend, Antonio, and newfound popularity at school, Tori feels even more bewildered. Then Tori begins to suspect that Antonio doesn’t exist, and to get back at Sienna, she invents her own fake boyfriend. Soon the girls are regaling their friends with stories of each boyfriend’s devotion, each gesture more romantic than the next. But having a fake boyfriend turns out to be hard work, from creating love letters to keeping the stories straight, and with a school dance approaching, Tori decides to come clean. Her difficult confession brings some surprising discoveries and new appreciation for what matters most in friendship. Tori is an appealing, engaging protagonist whose peppy first-person narrative includes some introspective moments and incorporates issues that readers will appreciate, especially the importance of honesty, trust, and self-appreciation. An enjoyable, entertaining read. Grades 5-8. --Shelle Rosenfeld