Isabelle's Boyfriend by Caroline Hickey
(Roaring Brook Press, Hardcover, 2008)
While walking her dog one snowy day, Taryn meets the perfect guy. Epp is cute, he flirts with her, and he even likes her dog. The only problem is that he has a girlfriend. When Taryn's best friend comes up with a plan for her to win over Epp's affections, Taryn uneasily goes along with it. Before she knows it, she's up to her neck in lies, double dates, and misunderstandings. Is Epp really worth all this trouble?
Although this book is set in the winter, it made a great summer afternoon read. It was well written, fast paced and full of drama. Taryn is a likable character, just dipping her feet into crushes and dating. Family and friendship issues make this book a thoughtful read, and Taryn's attitude towards relationships and drinking makes it a clean read as well. Isabelle (Epp's girlfriend) is a three-dimensional character with faults and strengths, and there isn't that annoying scene where, in an overdone and unrealistic way, everyone finds out Taryn has lied. Not to say that Taryn gets off scott free, but the "big reveal" is done in a classy, true to real life way. Kudos to Caroline Hickey for twisting the old love triangle into something new and interesting.