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Children's LiteratureWhen eighth grader Jordan Starling hears tales of her friends' summer romances, she feels compelled to invent a boyfriend of her own. A rival questions her honesty, so she produces a photo of cute Ryan Elliot, a faraway family friend that she hardly remembers. All seems forgotten until Ryan actually shows up in Dallas. Due to an acrimonious divorce, Ryan and his mother unexpectedly take refuge in the Starling home. When Ryan enrolls in Jordan's school, the complications arise. Jordan must navigate the hallways continuing the charade, while keeping Ryan in the dark about her lie. When Jordan's nemesis makes a play for Ryan, who has become her friend, the eighth grader comes to an important decision, accepting responsibility for her web of lies and demonstrating a new level of emotional maturity. This undemanding story is full of stock characters and some outdated slang, but reluctant "tween" readers will gobble up this book. Lurlene McDaniel structures a taunt paperback read, with plenty of escalating conflict to keep readers turning the pages. McDaniel even dabbles into some harder issues, such as divorce and the consequences of lying. 2004 (orig. 1988), Darby Creek Publishing, Ages 9 to 14.