Let me introduce you to our two main characters: Lita and Adam. Lita and Adam are best friends and have a rather violent relationship (when they first met she hit him with a lunchbox). Lita has always wanted to be a published author, like her mother. So when Adam decides to self-publish a book called “What Boys Want”, a self-help book that gives readers an insight to boys thinking, she can’t believe it. How could he be taking her dream away? Especially because she’s sure that he can’t write a book. She is also trying to help her friend, Emily, get with Adam’s friend, Dennis. But Dennis has his eyes on Blair, who is known for her “skankiness”. But Blair seems to have a thing for Adam, which is not OKAY with Lita. And Adam has his own problems, with figuring out how to publish his book and of course, what he wants.
What Boys Want was surprisingly good! Despite the awful cover (I will get to that later), I decided to read it because I had read another book by Pete Hautman. The plot of this story is quick paced, interesting, and humorous. There were so many times that I found myself LOLing at the hilarious events and things these characters said. The dialogue is very real, and I can imagine teenagers actually saying those things. This is very rare in a YA book because let’s face it. Adults, as close as you can get, you’re not our age and don’t know how we talk even though you think you do. All the characters were really funny and lovable. There’s Adam and his strange logic and Lita with her temperamental scheming. Even the minor characters like Blair are likable. The idea of this book is really cool too because I learned more about the book publishing process. It was interesting to see all the different relationships between people unfold. And I really appreciated how Adam and Lita never liked each other and that they were seriously just friends. Although the word “friends” is debatable because Lita seems pretty cold towards Adam the whole story if you ask me.
One thing I must says is how I think Pete needs to get a new publisher. I think this is a wonderful read, but the amazingness is taken away because of the presentation. First of all is the title. It is “What Boys Really Want” when the book that Adam is writing is called “What Boys Want”. This is very deceiving and I do not like the title lying to me, even though at the end of the book Adam’s book is renamed. Maybe they added the “really” to draw in readers. Still. Next is the cover. I do not like seeing people on the cover of my books. I do not like this cover. It’s relevant to the book, but could have been majorly improved. And the last thing is the inside flap. “And Adam would never end up in a fistfight with Lita’s boyfriend.” Okay, during the story, Lita does not even have a boyfriend. And the event they are talking about happens in the last 20 pages. So why would you even put that in your description if it’s basically a lie? Therefore, I think Pete needs to get a new publisher who will actually read the book before the jacket and cover are designed. If anyone read “The Big Crunch”, you may remember how the jacket flap said that there was a character named “Jen” when really they meant “June”. How can you put the wrong name in your description??? Case in point.
Anyway, despite my ranting I really did like this book. It was funny, realistic, and a great light read. I recommend it if you don’t want to read anything too serious. 5 out of 5 stars.