A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a pretty clean book as far as language, sex, and violence go. And there's some thoughtful writing about the politics of dating and how guys feel when they're rejected. But there are some creepy moments, such as when Reed scores his first kiss with an incredibly drunk girl, when he practically stalks a girl, or when he begins having a heartfelt conversation with a mysterious girl he sees on the basketball court, who obviously can't hear him from behind his car window.
What's the story?
Nice-guy Reed needs a date, so his popular twin friends begin a project, giving him tips for asking out girls and how to act on a date.
\ But even as Reed begins to succeed with girls, he gets confused about why girls are suddenly so interested in him. Is it all just superficial? And how can he convince beautiful Ronnie that she's actually the girl for him?
Is it any good?
THE GIRLFRIEND PROJECT isn't a complete failure: The premise is fun, with twins trying to help their friend score a date, and there's some good food for thought. Girls might appreciate this look into the boy brain, and guys might connect with Reed and his best friend, Lonnie, who are vulnerable on the inside no matter what the outside world thinks.
Readers won't be surprised when Reed ultimately hooks up with his dream girl, Ronnie, but they may be a little put off with the intensity of his affection, as is Ronnie. In general, his intensity could have been dialed down a bit. He rages inside against a girl who turned him down years ago, and practically stalks another girl he's interested in. This makes Reed a little creepy and harder to sympathize with.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about some of the questions posted on Reed's Web site: Should girls ask out guys? Should guys pay? It could be fun for parents to see how much dating expectations have changed since they were young (if they have), and it also may open up some more serious topics about attraction, dating, love, and sex.