How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend

How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend

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by Janette Rallison

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Boyfriends are supposed to be loyal, caring, and handsome. Giovanna's boyfriend, Jesse, has perfected the last two. But when her twin brother, Dante, runs for student body president, Jesse doesn't support Dante, choosing to campaign for his opponent instead. Shouldn-t the fact that Jesse is Giovanna's boyfriend count for something? So Giovanna dumps Jesse and


Boyfriends are supposed to be loyal, caring, and handsome. Giovanna's boyfriend, Jesse, has perfected the last two. But when her twin brother, Dante, runs for student body president, Jesse doesn't support Dante, choosing to campaign for his opponent instead. Shouldn-t the fact that Jesse is Giovanna's boyfriend count for something? So Giovanna dumps Jesse and becomes Dante's campaign manager. But as the political debates heat up, Giovanna begins to regret breaking up with Jesse, and realizes that maybe her decision wasn't the political strategy she should have used?.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Giovanna has never liked her boyfriend's snotty friends, but it's not until he agrees to be popular Wilson's campaign manager in the student body presidential election-instead of her twin brother Dante's-that she publicly tells him "Jesse, we are over!" But it does not take her long to realize that she wants him back, preferably contrite, and a matchmaking friend helps her hatch a scheme. Giovanna is an amiable character "with a talent for making mistakes," some of which are quite hilarious; she mixes up her grandmother's loser neighbor with her blind date, ending up at dinner with a gambling addict who nicknames her "Panther," because he thinks she aggressively asked him out. (Jesse and his friends are at the same restaurant to witness her humiliation, of course.) Rallison (It's a Mall World After All) hints at deeper wounds here, as well: Giovanna admits that she is passionate about her brother's campaign because "when our mother lost her battle with cancer, a part of Dante's voice died with her." But mostly this is light fare (though a scene in which three drunk boys ruin Dante's campaign party, mooning the police, is more obnoxious than fun). Readers may wish they got to know some of the characters better-even Jesse remains somewhat of a mystery, beyond the obvious chemistry he has with Giovanna. But in the end, readers will appreciate the spunky protagonist, and the satisfying, if too neat, conclusion to her drama. Ages 12-up. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Sophomore Giovanna is bothered by the "ruling class" clique running the school which has decided that she is not good enough for her boyfriend Jesse, one of the most popular guys. Giovanna has a reputation at school for being troubled since she was convicted of a crime that she did not commit, but only Jesse believes in her. Her twin brother, Dante, gets into an argument with Wilson, Jesse's best friend, over the election for President of the Student Council and how it should be run to make the school the best it can be for ordinary students. To support her brother's run for office and to retaliate against a seeming betrayal by Jesse, Giovanna publicly dumps her boyfriend and becomes campaign manager for her brother. She learns to regret her rash decision. Giovanna learns some difficult life lessons about appearances and making harsh, prejudicial judgments without knowing all the facts. She is very principled but almost to the point of self righteousness and martyrdom. She must learn to open her mind and perceive some good in people who seem all bad and accept that reconciliation and common ground can be found. This novel is a good choice for readers who like Meg Cabot's books and other chick lit teen fiction. It is more serious in its treatment of issues and meatier than others like it, making it engaging yet an easy fun read that will appeal to many teen girls. Reviewer: Karen Sykeny
School Library Journal

Gr 7-10
Giovanna and her twin brother, Dante, fit in at school, but are not part of the in crowd. Gi's criminal record for stealing dead frogs from her biology class doesn't help. So she knows she's lucky to have Jesse as a boyfriend, even if she thinks most of his friends are snobby and fake. When Dante decides to run against über-popular Wilson and represent the average student in the race for student body president, his sister expects Jesse to campaign for him. Instead, he decides to be Wilson's campaign manager. Giovanna decides to work for her brother herself and breaks up with her boyfriend. She soon regrets her decision, however, and she and her friends try a number of misguided ways to make her ex jealous while increasing Dante's chances of winning. Since Giovanna is both impulsive and unlucky, these attempts tend to end in slapstick comedy. This is a breezy look at high school life. Girls who read Meg Cabot and Cathy Hopkins will enjoy this amusing, if not memorable, chick-lit story.
—Stephanie L. PetrusoCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Caught between her popular boyfriend, Jesse, and her headstrong twin, Dante, Giovanna (16) is forced to take sides in the upcoming student-council election. Her loyalty to her twin wins out. As if that's not enough to make her life difficult, Giovanna is still doing community service for a crime involving frogs and her stepmother's briefcase. She is equally frustrated at home as she tries to figure out why her stepmother makes her life so difficult and yet seems to dote on Dante. Giovanna agrees to go on a string of blind dates in an attempt to get Jesse back, but they culminate in one horrible evening in which Giovanna has to rely on Jesse to rescue her. This somewhat familiar story is given a fresh twist with likable and real characters. Fast-paced and funny, Rallison's latest will satisfy faithful fans and will encourage new ones to join the fun. (Fiction. 12-14)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

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Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17


Teaser chapter

I Want Him Back ...

I put my hand to my forehead. My head suddenly hurt. “He told people about our date?”

“Giovanna, you let the guy know you’d been arrested for stealing dead frogs and then crawled underneath a pool table. You didn’t think he’d tell people about it?”

I gulped and felt my face flush. “If he was a gentleman, he wouldn’t have told—Jesse wouldn’t have.”

“Well, you broke up with Jesse.”

Her statement hit me hard. I’d broken up with Jesse, and yet I suddenly realized that despite everything, I wanted him back. Forget loyalty. Forget this stupid election. I just wanted my boyfriend back.

Daphne reached over and momentarily put her hand over mine to get my attention. “It will all be fine. You just need some prep work for your next date. You know, a game plan of what to say and how to act.” She let out a sigh, but not one of resignation. This was the breath you let out before you tackled something huge. “I’ve gone about this matchmaker business all wrong. I’ve tried to set you up with guys I thought would be good for you. But I never found out what you’re looking for. So let’s start with that. We want to find someone who is absolutely compatible. So you tell me, what do you want in a guy?”

“Jesse,” I said.

“You want a guy like Jesse?”

“No, I want him. I want Jesse back.”


Published by the Penguin Group
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First published in the United States of America by G. P. Putnam’s Sons,
a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2007
Published by Speak, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2009


Copyright © Janette Rallison, 2007

All rights reserved


Rallison, Janette, 1966-
How to take the ex out of ex-boyfriend / Janette Rallison.
p. cm.
Summary: Giovanna rashly breaks up with her boyfriend Jesse when he refuses to help her twin brother with his campaign for Student Council president, but fixing her mistake may be more difficult for her than she realizes.

eISBN : 978-1-101-01985-6

To James and Faith—my wonderful twins—
and also to my other magnificent children,
Arianna, Luke, and Asenath.


To the real Dante and Giovanna Petrizzo,
you all have such cool names.


To my ever-patient and thorough editor, Tim.
Okay, so while I was working on your revision comments I
compared you to the Greek Furies and told several people you
were possessed by evil demons. I still followed most of your
suggestions. You’re great. Thanks for making the book better.


Special thanks to Brandon Hart, Brian Lamb, and Angela Morales from the Austin, Texas, police youth service department for guiding me through the intricate legal world of frog theft.


Thanks to all my writing friends who read and critiqued parts of the story. You guys are not only talented but helpful.


Lastly, thanks to Asenath’s friend Westin, who came over on short notice so I could drag him around in a cowboy hat to pose as Jesse. Keep the hat handy, Westin, it works for you.

Chapter 1

I bet you Cinderella didn’t get along with Prince Charming’s friends. Oh sure, the knights and barons probably put up with her on account that she was pretty and had such dainty feet and all, but you know every duchess and countess in the kingdom hated her guts. That’s how women are when someone encroaches on their turf.

And that’s why all the girls at Jesse’s birthday party ignored me. While he mingled with the guests to make sure everyone had enough food, I sat next to a group of cheerleaders who talked around me like I was a piece of furniture.

I don’t know why I expected any different. They’d acted this way since I started dating Jesse two months ago, giving me subtle and not so subtle messages that just because I was going out with a guy from the popular clique didn’t mean I fit in with them.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if I’d been sitting with Dante, and then I’d at least be able to talk with him, but he stood across the room, his black leather jacket barely visible in the crowd of letterman jackets. He and a bunch of guys from the basketball team were no doubt talking sports, and other male languages I didn’t understand. Besides, I ought to be able to make it through a party without depending on my twin brother as a conversational crutch.

Next to me on the couch, Bridget and Stacey—the current reigning rodeo princess and her peroxide blond sidekick—discussed their prom dresses. They hadn’t said a word to me all night except for when I sat down and Stacey said, “Oh, hi, Giovanna.” She said my name like it had about seven syllables. No matter how many times I’ve told her it’s pronounced “Geo-vonna,” she always finds a way to butcher it. If I correct her, she laughs and says, “Sorry, I don’t speak Italian.”

Yeah, neither do I, but somehow I manage to pronounce my name without making it sound like it rhymes with “banana.” I won’t even mention how people say my last name, Petrizzo, except to point out it has stumped many a substitute teacher during roll call.

Dante says I should take advantage of my Italian heritage and pretend to be a non-English speaking immigrant whenever we have a sub, but that’s just Dante. He’s never taken school seriously.

Bridget took a sip of her drink and leaned toward Stacey. “I brought home this gorgeous blue silk dress with a sequin bodice. It totally matched the color of my eyes, but my mom freaked out because it was so low cut. She insisted on taking it back and going with me to pick out another one. I chose the most expensive one in the store to make her mad.”

Stacey let out a sigh. “I wish I’d thought of that. I had to beg my mom before she let me spend over three hundred. And I still haven’t found a pair of shoes.”

I shrugged. “I haven’t even looked at prom dresses yet.”

Bridget’s gaze turned to me for the first time. Her eyebrow lifted. “Why not? Hasn’t Jesse asked you?” She gave me a self-satisfied smile. “Maybe he’s going to ask someone else then.”

I gripped the drink in my hand harder than I needed to. “I’m sure he just hasn’t gotten around to it.”

Bridget let off a giggle as she rolled her eyes. “You don’t need to be so touchy. I was just kidding.”

Stacey fingered the straw in her glass. “Of course he’ll ask you—that is, unless he finds something better along the side of the road.” And then they both laughed, so if I got mad they could claim they were just joking around again.

Meet the Author

Janette Rallison is the author of the bestselling All’s Fair in Love, War and High School and a number of popular romantic comedies. She lives in Chandler, Arizona.

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How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Susy Estevane More than 1 year ago
Will never get tired of this book! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!! My mom and I listened to it in the car (I later READ the rest) but my mom actually wanted to know what happened!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (which is HUGE!!:)
AvidBookReaderMMP More than 1 year ago
I liked reading this book, it was interesting, sweet, and funny. I was laughing out loud at some parts of it. Although, I wish that the author had gone into more detail about how serious Jesse and Giovanna's relationship was because it was like they made up, kissed once, and he just drove off; I guess I expected more caring and emotion and possibly love between Jesse and Giovanna. Still, overall it was a good book.
quibecca More than 1 year ago
I listened to this book, and I really enjoyed it.  It's hard to write the review because I listened to three other books as well...hehe! Giovanna is dating Jesse and they seem to have a wonderful relationship.  Jesse's friends are rich and snobby, and are not really all that nice to people out side their circle.  When a kid from their high school passes away Giovanna's twin brother Dante wants to make a memorial for him.   The Student Body President thinks that money should be spent on prom floats.  Dante is disgusted with them so he decides to run against the president.   When Dante decides to run Giovanna supports him, and Jesse decides to support his best friend and current President.  In a heat of anger Giovanna breaks up with Jesse.   This was a fun story.  Giovanna was a little to emotional for me, but Jesse was fabulous.  Dante made me angry sometimes because he used Giovanna's knack for getting in trouble to get things from his step mom.  Giovanna feels betrayed and realizes that she wants Jesse back. Giovanna is always getting herself into some kind of predicament.  Most of the time they are super funny.   This is such a fun book to listen to!  It is a good book about friends, forgiveness, and forgiveness. Rallinson does such a great job writing that it pulls me in right off the bat.  It made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion :).  I enjoyed every minute of this book.
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One says for ages 12+, one is for ages 7-10, and one say ages 12-14. WHICH ONE IS IT????? Lol
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
When Giovanna's twin brother, Dante, announces he's running for student body president against her boyfriend's friend and popular candidate, Wilson, things between Giovanna and her boyfriend, Jesse, get a little tense. Jesse's great, the best boyfriend a girl could ask for...Until he agrees to support Wilson over Dante, who is also a good friend of his. Both Jesse and Dante say Giovanna's too emotional, and she might agree after she impulsively breaks up with Jesse.

Even though she's campaigning for Dante, she sort of regrets dumping Jesse. Even if he is campaigning for the opposition. Okay, that's a lie--she completely regrets it, and she wants Jesse back, but Giovanna doesn't want to give up her pride or her brother's campaign, either. What's a girl to do?

HOW TO TAKE THE EX OUT OF EX-BOYFRIEND is a fantastic book! It's absorbing, entertaining, and moves quickly enough to be read in an afternoon. All of the characters are great, but Giovanna is an awesome and well-developed main character, with a great voice. She's someone I definitely wouldn't mind hearing more from! This is a book that is completely worth reading, and pretty hard to put down, too!