What Boys Really Want

What Boys Really Want

3.9 16
by Pete Hautman

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National Book Award winning author Pete Hautman lets us in on the secret.

Lita is the writer. Adam is the entrepreneur. They are JUST FRIENDS.

So Adam would never sell copies of a self-help book before he'd even written it. And Lita would never try to break up Adam's relationship with Blair, the skankiest girl at school. They'd never sabotage their friends


National Book Award winning author Pete Hautman lets us in on the secret.

Lita is the writer. Adam is the entrepreneur. They are JUST FRIENDS.

So Adam would never sell copies of a self-help book before he'd even written it. And Lita would never try to break up Adam's relationship with Blair, the skankiest girl at school. They'd never sabotage their friends Emily and Dennis. Lita would never date a guy related to a girl she can't stand. They'd never steal each other's blog posts. And Adam would never end up in a fist fight with Lita's boyfriend. Nope, never.

Adam and Lita might never agree on what happened, but in this hilarious story from Pete Hautman, they manage to give the world a little more insight into what boys and girls are really looking for.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hautman (The Big Crunch) demonstrates the gulf between male and female perspectives by alternating between the first-person narratives of high school juniors Adam and Lita, whose friendship is put through the wringer thanks to miscommunication, jealousy, and plagiarism. When Adam decides to write a book about what boys want and how they think, it drives a wedge between him and Lita, with Lita annoyed that Adam is trampling on her dream of becoming a writer (the very idea that he write an advice book was hers to begin with). But Adam discovers that writing a book is harder than he thought, so he ends up stealing content from the Web, including Lita’s snarky, anonymous dating-advice blog. When Adam self-publishes his book, their conflict explodes. Hautman captures the angst, awkwardness, and joy of crushes and first dates with humor and heart, as Adam, Lita, and their friends fumble their way into relationships. Despite Adam’s overall haplessness, he gets one thing right: “Nearly all problems between the sexes can be boiled down to one thing: mistaken assumptions.” Hautman proves this to be true again and again. Ages 13�18. Agent: Flannery Literary. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

Praise for The Big Crunch:

* "Hautman skillfully subverts clichés in this subtle, authentic, hearttugging exploration of first love, but his sharp-eyed view of high-school social dynamics and the loving friction between parents and teens on the edge of independence is just as memorable." - Booklist, starred review

"With not a bell or whistle in sight, Hautman manages to write the YA love story of all time: simple, poignant, and very, very real." - VOYA

"A humorous and bittersweet tale of romance and the convoluted, uncertain paths that bring two people together." - Kirkus Reviews

Praise for How to Steal a Car:

* “A sporty, stylish model with peppy acceleration and surprising traction, this will be a sweet ride for readers” – BCCB, starred review

“A sharply observed, subversive coming-of-age tale.” - Kirkus Reviews

VOYA - Anqi Yu
So what do boys really want? In Pete Hautman's unique romantic comedy, humor and reality meet as this question is explored again and again. Hautman perfects the he said,/she said format in a book where both characters are immensely likable and distinct. The story adds enjoyment with its true-to-life situations and is a quick and spunky read. Fans of Wendelin Van Draanen's Flipped (Knopf, 2001/VOYA December 2001) will devour this well-written realistic fiction. Reviewer: Anqi Yu, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Shanna Swigert Smith
At the end of the summer before their senior year, Adam decides to become a novelist, much to his best friend, Lita's, chagrin. She plans to become a famous author herself, which is why she is so upset about Adam's harebrained scheme to make some quick money. In fact, Lita is already the proud author of an anonymous relationship blog, so with Adam stepping into Lita's territory, it causes some friction between them. Initially, she tries to avoid the subject because of her strong doubts about Adam following through with the book, but week after week, he surprises her with his drive and dedication, jeopardizing the friendship. As they push away from each other, they begin to connect with new people outside their close-knit group of friends. The story pulls everything and everyone together at the release party for Adam's book, however, giving readers a plot twist and a happy ending. Pete Hautman has created a quirky and fun novel that readers of all ages will enjoy. The book does not have a completely original plot, but the characters feel fresh. Readers will be so immersed in the characters' dialog that it will be hard to put the book down. Additionally, at the beginning of each chapter there is a blurb from either Adam's book or Lita's blog about boys and relationships, which are highly entertaining. Readers of both sexes will be amused and find this story appealing. Reviewer: Shanna Swigert Smith
Kirkus Reviews
High-school student Adam Merchant is writing a small volume on what boys and girls really want, an irresistible topic for his classmates. It takes him a whole month to write it, but lifting much of the information from a Miz Fitz advice-column blog makes the work go much faster. When finished, the $10 self-published work becomes so popular it attracts the attention of a real publisher. Little does Adam know that his on-and-off-again friend Lita Wold is Miz Fitz, who's not thrilled when she realizes that Adam has stolen her words. Told in Adam's and Lita's alternating voices, this is 300-plus pages of tedious teen banter over what boys and girls really think, plus a disappointingly mind-numbing subplot that finds Dennis liking Blair while Lita thinks he ought to like Emily, and other high-school drama. Originally, as explained in the acknowledgments, Hautman was to write Adam's part, and a female writer was going to write Lita's part, but the project was dropped when it became no longer fun. Years later, the project was revived, but it's still not fun, though it has its moments of humor and will certainly appeal to teen readers looking for an easy read and cheap thrills. A title that ought to be as appealing as the book Adam publishes but isn't; Hautman is capable of far better. (Fiction. 13-17)
School Library Journal
Gr 8�11—Best friends since kindergarten, Adam and Lita are now high school juniors. While Lita anonymously runs a sassy advice blog as "Miz Fitz," Adam hatches a plan to write a book about how boys and girls really think. With more advance orders from girls than guys, he decides to cater to his buying audience by focusing on what boys really want. He uses Lita's blog as his main source for research, borrowing liberally from his friend without realizing it. Aspiring author Lita grows envious of Adam's literary pursuits, so she turns her attention to helping her other BFF, Emily, lure mutual pal Dennis's attention away from new girl Blair. The plot thickens when Emily warms up to Adam, and Lita falls for a university student whom she spies getting into a car with… Blair. As a supporting character observes, "You just never know who will hook up" (though the hook-ups are G-rated and sexual references are mild). Things come to a boil when Adam throws himself a book publication party, and Lita discovers that he's plagiarized her blog. The book moves along at a snappy pace, with chapters alternating between the main characters' points of view. Chapters open with Miz Fitz's advice or excerpts from Adam's book; these humorous snippets ring true. The novel's tone may remind readers of the snarky but sweet movie Easy A, or Don Calame's equally funny Beat the Band (Candlewick, 2010). This is fresh, realistic YA fiction at its best.—Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.56(h) x 1.10(d)
710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Pete Hautman won the National Book Award for his novel Godless. He is also the author of the acclaimed novels The Big Crunch, How to Steal a Car, Rash, Invisible, Sweetblood, Hole in the Sky, No Limit, and Mr. Was. His home in the world is Minnesota, and his home on the web is www.petehautman.com.

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What Boys Really Want 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gurllllllls read this book it is od good this make u know what a boy really wants from u
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why should i b uy it, it looks good nd sounds good but why??????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read the comments, but they are vague about the book. Is is short (100-150 pages) or long (250-) or normal (175-200)? Does the author use large vocabulary? How long does a normal scene go on for short (acouple paragraphs) normal (a page) or long (2 pages or longer)? Does it fall into regular YA steriotypes (big popular guy notices shy geeky girl, boy meets girl some kind of problem then they fall in love, etc.)? How far does the author go into detail? And how did you like tye book? Thank you for the time, Amanda.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Awsome girls need this book
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
This one was a chore. After having read so many well written, honest, appealing, and interesting Young Adult novels, I was beginning to think that it’s impossible for a novelist with adequate writing skills to produce a bad YA novel. *What Boys Really Want* has proven me wrong. Defying the old adage, in this case, we really can judge a book by its cover. This cover depicts four presumably teenage girls curiously engrossed in a black book (which cleverly shares the novel’s title) emblazoned with a giant question mark. The cover image implies that the girls simply cannot suppress their curiosity about the true nature of male desire—and this heteronormative, male-centered premise permeates the novel, along with countless other sexist assumptions and stereotypes that motivate the one-dimensional characters. As for the young women who appear on the cover, three of them are (undoubtedly) upper middle class, suburban, privileged, white icons of the dominant culture. They are interchangeable, and any or all of them could easily represent any one of the three primary white female characters in the novel. One of the young women who appears on the cover is black—but this is quite misleading, since the only person of color who appears in the novel does so briefly, and she spends no amount of time associating with the three white women. Upon encountering her, the female protagonist (Lita) describes her (Chelsea) as follows: “Chelsea had a reputation for saying whatever was on her mind, which was a little scary, but the main reason she scared me was because she was black” (p. 89). And this is just the most obvious of the offensive stereotypes that appear in this book. There’s also Dennis, the young Asian man who is great at math and science but helpless around girls to whom he is attracted. Then there’s Adam, the male protagonist who isn’t very scholarly but gets by on his charm and his wit—and by plagiarizing his best friend’s website, publishing a book, and being offered a publishing contract. Sounds plausible, right? But even forgiving the book’s reliance on sexist and racist stereotypes, perhaps the most egregious of the book’s flaws is that it is dull. There is nothing original about this insipid, upper middle class suburban tale of goofy teenagers whose primary obsessions are getting rich, buying expensive accessories, and “figuring out” the opposite sex. The novel might hold a small degree of appeal for teens who resemble these forgettable and uninteresting characters, but adolescents who possess any level of literary sophistication will surely dismiss this as not worth their time or energy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a good book read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book should have a sample if B&N can please add sample it helps to see if we want read this book it must be good thou i cant give it the stars it needs PLEASE ADDD SAMPLEE!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That post was little creepy and a little weird but i'm ok with that. SO... how is life...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its a must!
CRocs More than 1 year ago
It's one of the best books I've read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Buy it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(Sorry I pushed post by accedint) but this goes on ti my first post. If yiu are going to write with me about HOA than yiu have to tell me your real name, your gender, and your House of Anbuis name for example I am Courtney, I'm a girl and my HOA name is Patricia!!! And after every time you write back about this, at the end type a ~, the first letters of your name, gender and HOA name. EX for me I would write cgp. Thank you soooo much I LOVE HOA!!!! ~ cgp
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okayyyy. So is it worth the buy? Also, is it innapropriate in amy way?????? If so... in WHAT way?? Thanks! :) -E*