The newest title on my “currently reading” shelf is A Date with Darcy by Tiffany Schmidt, the first in the “Bookish Boyfriends” series. This is a contemporary realistic teen novel about a book-obsessed sophomore in high school. Her motto at the beginning of the book is “boys are better in books” and she clearly bounces from one literary crush to another. But she also seems very much to want to find a real boy as wonderful as those fictional crushes as she’s starting her first year in a co-ed high school.
Merilee, the heroine of the book, seems like she should be someone I relate to. She dives into books to the extent that she forgets what else she is doing (or supposed to be doing) and she is cute and small with quirky taste in clothing. If you knew me in high school, this probably sounds familiar. But somehow, Merilee is failing to enchant me or feel really relateable so far. And as much as I adore diving into a book and swooning at the romances there, I have to say that I’m sort of relating more to Merilee’s smart and somewhat skeptical best friend, Eliza, who finds the book Merilee is obsessed with at the beginning of the book completely ridiculous.
That said, I’m enjoying Schmidt’s prose and am interested to see what the girls do end up reading throughout the book and how it impacts them, since clearly that’s a major piece of this book. I’m hoping that as the book hits its stride, the characters become more interesting and appealing and that the exploration of stories and their impact becomes more nuanced. Or at least a cute romance or something will pop up!