Secrets of Boys
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Secrets of Boys

3.8 39
by Hailey Abbott
     
 

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Eric: Loves surfing, has killer abs, an even better smile, and a heart of gold.

Joe: A sarcastic goofball who gives great advice, which no one ever takes.

Zach: Sophisticated college boy, wise in the ways of French painting as well as other French things.

A California girl like Cassidy Jones should be out on the beach, not stuck in summer

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Overview

Eric: Loves surfing, has killer abs, an even better smile, and a heart of gold.

Joe: A sarcastic goofball who gives great advice, which no one ever takes.

Zach: Sophisticated college boy, wise in the ways of French painting as well as other French things.

A California girl like Cassidy Jones should be out on the beach, not stuck in summer school! But her life heats up when she meets the worldly and romantic Zach – she can't stop thinking about him, even though she already has a boyfriend. Cassidy wishes her pal Joe were around to help her figure out the secrets of boys, but he's hundreds of miles away. Will she be able to ignore her feelings for Zach – or will temptation be too strong to resist?

Ages 14+

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Meet Cassidy, a "pretty wallflower," and her assorted friends: sex pot Larissa ("If I were a guy, I would totally do you"); Eric, Cassidy's long-standing beau (who has yet to say ‘I love you'); and Joe ("brother material, not stud material"), the childhood friend who makes her laugh, and knows her better than she knows herself. Cassidy's parents are M.I.A., conveniently allowing her to do whatever she wants. Roped into a French summer class, Cassidy's initial disappointment is forgotten the instant she lays eyes on the T.A. ("Once she caught a glimpse of Zach's cute butt, she could barely remember her zip code.") Zach, a college sophomore, falls head-over-heels in love with 16-year-old Cassidy. Meanwhile she and Eric are about to celebrate their 2-year anniversary by—what else?—losing their virginity. The problem is Cassidy's fickle heart now belongs to Zach: what's a girl to do? Throughout this and other mind-numbing dilemmas, Cassidy asks dependable Joe for advice via letters (he's away for the summer). Unfortunately, when he suggests telling Eric the truth and moving cautiously with Zach, she completely ignores him, dumping Eric (after he goes to great trouble and expense planning The Big Night), and losing her virginity to summer fling, Zach. In the end, of course, she ends up with good old Joe, who, happily for them both, returns with a tan and a nice bod. Managing to be both predictable and implausible, this heavy-handed, contrived book is like junk food: cheap, insubstantial, and bad for you. 2006, HarperCollins, Ages 15 to 17.
—Naomi Milliner

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060824334
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/30/2006
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
863,294
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
13 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Secrets of Boys


By Hailey Abbott

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Hailey Abbott
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060824336

Chapter One

Cassidy Jones wished her best friend, Larissa King, were Amish at times like these. It would have made life a lot easier, especially when it came to going to parties. Instead of obsessing over which pair of jeans to wear (either the low-waisted, boot-cut Citizens of Humanity ones that make her appear to have a butt, or the stretch, dark True Religion ones that were perfectly broken in), Cassidy could spend her time burying her nose in her sketchbook and drawing while sitting on the beach in Malibu. But that was not her fate today. She was about an hour away from attending a Pepperdine University party with Larissa, and Cassidy knew all too well what that meant. Soon Larissa would be acting the opposite of Amish -- smoking, drinking, dancing, and perhaps even sexing it up with some college hottie. As for Cassidy, she was preparing for another night spent in the corner like your typical pretty wallflower.

Then she told herself that she'd have her boy-friend, Eric, to talk to, but even that didn't make her feel like going out tonight. Maybe her melancholy mood could be chalked up to a bad case of PMS, or maybe it was because she was a few days shy of getting her last report card for the year. That always made her nervous, even though she usuallydid just fine. Maybe it was because she worried her chronic shyness was going to get the better of her once again. Whatever the reason, she looked at Larissa as she got all dolled up and hoped her friend would break one of her well-manicured, Hard Candy-painted nails. Beauty crises had derailed their plans many, many times before, so why not now?

"If this shirt doesn't get me groped at least once tonight, I'm suing the designer." Larissa tugged at the straps of a rainbow-striped terry cloth tank so that it draped lower on her chest. She posed in front of the mirror hanging from the door of Cassidy's walk-in closet, flinging her long, straight hair behind her shoulders. She'd recently added bold red streaks, and they glinted in the late afternoon sunlight streaming through Cassidy's picture window.

"Larissa," Cassidy reminded her, "you are the designer."

"Too true," Larissa agreed. "What do you think? Will it be a hit on the runway?"

"You'll have Dior begging for mercy."

Cassidy rolled her eyes. Ever since Larissa had picked up an issue of Nylon magazine three months before, it was nearly impossible to tear her away from her sewing machine or get her to talk about anything besides cuts and fabrics. Larissa was convinced she was the next Coco Chanel, and Cassidy was waiting patiently for her to get over her fashion craze the way she'd gotten over rock climbing, karaoke, and synchronized swimming. They'd spent four summers together, and Cassidy just loved how Larissa's ever-so-fleeting passions always took them somewhere unexpected.

"Excellent. But if not," Larissa decided, "I'll give it to you."

"Thanks a million," she said acidly. "I'll wear it every day."

Cassidy knew that Larissa was well aware of the fact she wouldn't go anywhere near rainbow-striped terry cloth. She preferred simple, elegant clothes that made her blend in, not stand out. With her porcelain-colored skin, huge blue eyes, and endless lashes, she got enough attention as it was -- too much, considering she was usually too timid to talk to any guys besides Eric. Even so, she still got tongue-tied around him, and they had been dating for almost two years.

Wow, has it really been that long? she thought.

"Look, a little color won't kill you." Larissa sighed, taking in Cassidy's black crepe button-down shirt from Theory, plain white flip-flops, and short denim skirt. "Come on, I've got this new eye shadow that would look amazing on you. It's hardly a color at all. Actually, it's more of a subtle shimmer. . . ."

Larissa began rummaging in the enormous straw tote she carried everywhere she went. Cassidy giggled to herself, picturing the mess of makeup, loose change, and empty Twizzler wrappers lurking in the bottom. She imagined the bag swallowing Larissa whole, so that only her newly painted lime green toenails stuck out from the top.

The image was too good to pass up. She grabbed her sketchbook off the nightstand and began covering a page in small, quick lines. As she drew with her favorite Hello Kitty number-two pencil, she felt the tiny knot she always carried around inside her begin to loosen. Secretly, she called it "social tension" -- the feeling of always having to say something and never knowing what to say, so that she ended up just not talking and seeming stuck-up to everyone but her closest friends. Drawing was always good for that. It let her enter a silent world where she could sit back and watch without having to say anything at all.

In fact, the walls of Cassidy's room were covered in her sketches: Larissa morphing into Kelly Clarkson as she belted into the mike of a karaoke machine, Eric riding a horse backward along Zuma Beach, and all three of them playing tug-of-war with a giant Twizzler.

Her favorite, which she'd tinted with colored pens and hung prominently over her bed, showed Larissa as Batman and her as Robin, both poised to leap off the roof of their high school and save the desperately bored students trapped inside. It seemed to sum up their friendship perfectly: the way outgoing, talkative Larissa always took the lead and quiet Cassidy was content to play sidekick. Some girls might not have been into playing Haley James to Larissa's Peyton Sawyer, but Cassidy found it comforting. She didn't want the limelight and liked that Larissa was always thinking of new fun things for them to do. As far as she was concerned, they complemented each other perfectly. Besides, she knew Larissa wouldn't be so gutsy without Cassidy's support -- and if it weren't for Larissa, Cassidy would probably forget how to talk entirely.

Continues...


Excerpted from The Secrets of Boys by Hailey Abbott Copyright © 2006 by Hailey Abbott. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Hailey Abbott grew up in Southern California, where she split her time between creative writing and creative beaching. She is the author of Getting Lost with Boys, The Secrets of Boys, The Perfect Boy, Waking Up to Boys, The Forbidden Boy, and The Other Boy well as the Summer Boys books and The Bridesmaid. Hailey now lives in New York City.

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Secrets of Boys 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Cassidy Jones has her summer all planned out; she and her BFF, Larissa, have jobs lined up at a super-trendy clothing boutique and her gorgeous, surfer boyfriend, Eric, wants her to spend time in the sand with him. Sadly, her ultra-organized and goal-oriented parents have decided she should spend her summer in an intensive language program at a university.

Once classes start everything starts changing. Larissa is too busy to make time for her friend. Eric is suddenly jealous of everything. Cassidy is suddenly finding Zach, the worldly college boy, attractive, and she starts to question everything. The reintroduction of her childhood best friend, Joe, into the equation makes life even more interesting for her, even if he is all the way across the country. Throughout the summer she expands her horizons, but begins to wonder if she really knows anything about the real secrets of boys and life in general.

The thoughts and feelings that Cassidy experience will likely be familiar to readers. Abbott uses believable dialogue to help tell her story. Readers will be envious of the amazing wardrobes Cassidy and Larissa have access to. Some of the events seem a little unlikely, but they do not distract from the important lessons that Cassidy learns while finding herself. In the end, things wrap up in a satisfying way even if it is not what readers may hope for. There is a feeling that life is just starting to get good for Cassidy Jones.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loves it
RoxxiiReaderr More than 1 year ago
Why 14 n up?
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