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How (Not) to Find a Boyfriend Hardcover – June 13, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7-10–Much to her feminist mother's disapproval, “born-again normal person” Nora Fulbright has dropped the “smart girl” act that kept her “larval” in middle school and is dedicating her high school career to increasing her “popularity quotient.” She has exchanged gymnastics for varsity cheerleading, shed her chess-playing past, and dropped down from AP classes. Then chess-loving, brainiac, super-hot Adam Hood moves to town. Nora immediately goes to work masterminding a series of swaps to get closer to him, beginning with an agreement to go on a date with creepy, unpopular Mitch in exchange for a printout of Adam's class schedule. Not surprisingly, the swaps backfire, and Nora realizes that she failed to operate under the three principles of chess–foresight, caution, and circumspection. She goes into damage-control mode and manages to make good on all of her botched swaps. Although the resolution borders on being unrealistic, Valentine's tale will appeal to teen girls. In the same vein as E. Lockhart's The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (Hyperion, 2008), the message of embracing who you are is one that teens need to hear.–Nicole Knott, Watertown High School, CTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

As a sophomore on the varsity cheer squad who has the attention of dumb-as-rocks (but hot) footballer Jake Londgren, Nora Fulbright has morphed socially from “larval state—practically a worm” into a fully formed butterfly. In order to up her PQ, or popularity quotient, brainy Nora switches out of her AP courses and joins the masses. But when Adam—cute, crazy smart, and gives Nora the good kind of shivers—moves to town, how can she get him to see that she is not just a ditzy cheerleader? And that she is not interested in Jake? In Valentine’s sassy debut, readers will groan as Nora messes everything up, and may grow frustrated with her choices (“For a smart girl you’ve had a pretty solid run of stupid”), but if they relate to her plight, they will find her funny, too. Grades 7-12. --Ann Kelley

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 720L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel Books (June 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399257713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399257711
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,035,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dorine White on July 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The Story-
Nora Fulbright is a sophomore moving her way up to the elite of her high school. Nobody knows about her past at another school, where she was a straight A nerd and a member of the chess club. These days, she is a talented cheerleader with the hottest guy on the football team after her. Everything goes exactly as she has planned it, until Adam moves to town.

Nora finds out that Adam is in AP classes, the same classes she switched out of to not "look" smart. She quickly switches her schedule back, but everyone knows her as an airhead. She needs to prove herself, and tries hard to get into every group that Adam is in, going so far as to make deals with other students, that later come back to bite her. Plus, she has to keep up her charade of being a popular cheerleader.

To add to her troubles, she has a super smart family that are against her goal to become pretty and popular, all they want is a straight A genius.

My Thoughts-
Ah, the ever important high school question- Can you be a smart popular cheerleader? I totally understood Nora's goals. In the past she felt herself to be overlooked and nerdy. When she moves to a new school, she finally has a chance to change things. Years of gymnastics puts her into a top spot in cheerleading, and after dropping out of all of her honor and AP classes, no one will ever know the truth. What high school girl hasn't wanted to be part of the in-crowd, and would do almost anything to get there? Almost all.

For Nora, she is able to slid right in to the popular role. So, one guesses she must have been pretty to start out. The whole time I read the book I went back and forth between feeling happy that Nora had achieved the dream, and sad that she was dumbing herself down to do it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By princess bookie on December 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
My Thoughts: When I first read the summary of this one, I knew I had to read it! My type of book!

And I was right!

We are introduced to Nora who is really smart but decided to reinvent herself so she has become a cheerleader and she hides just how smart she is. She drops her AP classes and takes more normal level classes. She hides a lot of things, even from her best friend.

But when a new boy arrives named Adam she can’t resist letting her inner nerd show. Adam is also very smart so she doesn’t think he’ll be interested in her, since he thinks shes a brainless cheerleader.

I loved all the interactions between Nora and Adam. I also loved seeing how much Nora grew as a person. I loved her relationship with her family even if it was rocky at times.

And I loved loved how the chess angle fit in this one. I don’t know much about chess but I loved how Nora had to make deals to make everything fall into place.

This one was a very cute novel yet it had so many lessons throughout the pages. I loved Nora’s voice. I loved her family and friends and especially Adam.

Overall: If you are looking for a cute contemporary than you must try this one! It was spunky, cute, adorable, and I loved every minute of it! I’d definitely recommend this one!

Cover: Its neat! Love the guy as a chess player! Thought provoking cover!!

What I'd Give It: 4/5 Cupcakes
Taken From Princess Bookie
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Format: Hardcover
Sadly, the stereotype of the smart girl who thinks she must play dumb to be popular isn't a fiction. In this book, Laura Fullbright is an extremely smart girl who decides when she changes high schools that she'll hide her past academic achievements so she can become popular. She joins the cheering squad where her gymnastics experience makes her a valuable addition. Her best friend Krista who has been with the same guy since she was twelve, is pushing Laura to go out with Jake who is good looking, but dumber than a box of rocks. She's tempted. After all, hasn't her goal this year to be popular and shouldn't that include a hot boyfriend?
Of course, things always get complicated when you try scripting your future. The day before school begins, Laura is playing soccer with her little brother when the ball goes astray. It's kicked back by a stranger and hits her in the head. Enter Adam, new to town and possibly better looking than Jake. It's instant swoon for Laura and she senses that there's interest on Adam's part.
Would that getting his attention long enough to pursue her attraction be so simple—Not. Laura makes mistake after mistake in her attempts to connect with him. After switching out of her AP classes to help cement her popularity quest, she discovers that Adam is probably her equal in the brains department, so she initiates a series of well-intentioned, but disastrous swaps with other kids in an effort to get in the same classes and work on some projects with him, all the while trying to keep Jake far enough away so she doesn't have to go to the prom with him.
Reading as she navigates her way through this minefield, as well as finally realizing that being smart is as much a part of her as anything, is fun and cringeworthy in a very good way.
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By Maryam Dinzly on February 6, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Nora Fulbright is the most talented new cheerleader on the Riverbend High cheerleading squad. Never mind that she used to be a friendless overachiever with a penchant for chess - this year, Nora is determined to leave all of that behind and transform from brainiac social larva to full-blown butterfly, even if it means dumbing herself down. But when Adam moves to town and steal Nora's heart with his ultra-smarts and incredibly cute dimple, Nora has a problem. How can she prove to him that she's not the airhead she's made herself out to be? Nora devises a seemingly simple plan to wow Adam with her intellect. Yet soon after setting things in motion, Nora quickly loses control of her strategy and struggles to keep her image in check. Will she be able to prove that she can be both a butterfly and a nerd?
Firstly, this Nora girl reminds me of myself when I was in secondary school. I wanted to be both a booknerd, but also a popular kid. And I think sometimes, just sometimes, you can have both. But anyway. Ugh, I knew from the start that Nora was so clever. Dumbing herself down was the stupidest idea she could ever have, but then again, I guess the stereotypes about cheerleaders and brainiacs seemed to have influenced her decision. I love Adam though. He is so nice, and chill and completely smart. Like totally AP-genius kid. And then there was the fact that he's really super nice to anybody and everybody. And and, sigh the ending was so nice. YES. Ending means everything to me, because a book could be so damn good, but if the ending sucks, it totally ruins the whole thing. HAHAHA. But anyway, yeah. Read this book, and for the first time, you might have questions for yourself, especially if you have been pretending your whole life to be somebody else.
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