How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-boyfriend Book Poster Image

How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-boyfriend

Hijinks ensue as goofy girl schemes for her man.

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Not applicable

Giovanna and Jesse kiss several times, kisses which Giovanna claims "stopped time."


Giovanna and Dante make up words like "sob" and "Aztec" as code swear words to use around their little sister.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Three drunk guys show up at Giovanna and Dante's party, but there was no alcohol served at their house.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book is pretty clean. Passionate kisses aren't described beyond saying their power "stopped time." The twins don't serve alcohol at their party, but three drunk guys show up; Giovanna takes the responsibility to drive them home. Giovanna sometimes talks about how her mother's death took away some of Dante's spirit.

What's the story?

When Giovanna's twin brother decides to take on the school's popular clique and run for student body president, she knows she has to support him. So she does -- by dumping her boyfriend Jesse when he signs on as the rich, popular kid's campaign manager.

A few disaster blind dates later, and it's clear the break-up was a mistake. Can she win Jesse back -- and save her brother's doomed campaign? It's going to be a bumpy ride for emotional Giovanna -- who's prone to making embarrassing mistakes.

Is it any good?


It's easy for readers to relate to "emotional" Giovanna: This book is full of disasters, from bad blind dates to a really bad party, all played for laughs. Really, funny is pretty much all this book has going for it. Giovanna's relationship with Jesse -- which she ends in a passionate moment and quickly regrets -- is never really in jeopardy (they continue flirting/fighting until the book's inevitable romantic conclusion). Other storylines, such as Giovanna's tense relationship with her stepmother or her mother's tragic death, aren't developed, and many of the secondary characters remain flat.

But in the end, this is good, clean fun with a happy ending for everyone. It's a fun enough summer read by the beach/pool/mall food court.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Daphne's advice on how to win Jesse back: "If you come crawling back to him, it's like admitting you aren't capable of doing better. He'll think you're a B-list girl ... The trick is to make other people think you're A-list." Can you think of other media that has used this idea -- that a makeover and a string of dates is the way to attract the guy you want? Is there any truth behind what Daphne is saying? How does it work out for Giovanna?

Book details

Author:Janette Rallison
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication date:June 21, 2007
Number of pages:272
Publisher's recommended age(s):12

This review of How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-boyfriend was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byalialexandi February 21, 2009
Kid, 12 years old June 7, 2011

Just alright (-:

Overall this is a very clean book, nothing except a few kisses and language (Aztec, Sob) to use as cover-up swear words around younger kids. This book wasn't phenomenal but it wasn't a waste of time either. If you're looking for a squeaky clean, fun novel pick this book up (: