The premise is very simple. Tessa Crimson is head cheerleader but she is also the ringleader for a very important, but secretive, school service. She leads SOS which helps high school girls find out if their boyfriends are cheating. Fortunately for Tessa, she has a great boyfriend who adores her and would never cheat on her. Right? The more Tessa investigates the cheating habits of her high school classmates, the more pessimistic she becomes. Could Aiden be hiding something from her?
While reading this, I couldn’t help but get the impression that this book is kind of like a romance novel in reverse. At story’s beginning, Tessa has an amazing boyfriend and life, kind of like her happily-ever-after, already, but by story’s end, things are not so simple and happy.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s a nice light read but it also has enough depth where I don’t feel like I’m reading the equivalent of cotton candy. Most notably, it has Tessa who starts off feeling entirely certain and in control of her world, and as the book goes on, finds out that her world is spiraling out around her. Despite this, I really felt like Tessa developed into a stronger character by story’s end. She had to start relying on herself more, and much as she loved Aiden, she started to realize she had to figure out who she was without him.
And I mentioned how fun this book is, right? Because I really enjoyed the amateur spying techniques of the Smitten Kittens. I mean, they had a grappling hook! How very her awesome is that? The memos interspersed throughout the text are also funny and sad. It certainly did seem like a high percentage of males at that school cheated, yikes!
I also liked the female friendship aspects of the story. Even when Tessa was around a girl she didn’t like, one in particular who was gunning for Aiden, she managed to keep a smile on her face and some measure of politeness. There wasn’t a whole lot of catty behavior which was a nice change of pace from some of the “mean girl-esque” novels I’ve read.
I do want to say, from a librarian’s point of view, rather than my own personal enjoyment factor, that some parents may have issues with this book because while it is not explicit by any means, there’s quite a bit of sex going on with the main character. I thought the author handled the subject very well and let’s face it; sex is a reality of teenage years, no matter how many parents want to shield their teens. But, it is an issue that I can see cropping up in a public library setting.
Aiden also calls Tessa “Baby” quite a bit as a term of endearment. I don’t mind it but I can see some readers being annoyed with that. However, this book is written for teens and heck, that’s how teen guys talk sometimes to be cutesy so I felt it was realistic.
I’m already anxious to read the second book in the series, So Many Boys which comes out in July, then the third book, A Good Boy is Hard to Find. I expect even more growth of Tessa as a character and hopefully, a happy ending for a couple I really like.