Young adult chick-lit has become more and more popular in the last few years, catching up with the saturation of the adult chick-lit market. YA chick-lit is quite similar to traditional chick-lit, but with school issues and popularity in the place of work dilemmas and social climbing and, of course, toned-down sexuality.
As far as YA chick-lit goes, Beaner O’Brian’s Absolutely Ginormous Guidebook to Guys by Naomi Nash is a pretty good read. Beaner is the fifteen-year-old daughter of a music executive whose summer is being ruined by the fact that she must complete an essay on the opposite sex before school begins the next month. Beaner, who has procrastinated all summer, has a serious case of writer’s block. Her friends — sassy Taryn, giggly Mandy, and grown-up Carrie — are no help, but they urge her to get some real life experience with guys to help her write her assignment. Unfortunately, Beaner’s father is reluctant to let her date and, even if he would let her, all the guys Beaner meets seem to only think of her as a buddy. That is, until Beaner stumbles into her father’s office and meets Antonio (real name Eugene), one of the lead singers of the hot new boy band S.W.A.K. Antonio takes an instant liking to Beaner and, before long, is arranging a date through her father.
However, while Beaner is overwhelmed by Antonio’s attentions, her mind is also on her sister’s crumbling wedding plans and her newfound attraction to Faris Aloul, an intern at her father’s office. Will Beaner be able to figure out what’s important in her life? And will she ever get her essay written before school starts?
Beaner O’Brian is a cute, sassy book that will be appealing to pre-teen and teenaged girls. Beaner is a great main character because she’s spunky, funny, and easy to relate to. Her situation is also appealing because of its combination of believability (school essays and parent troubles) and star-struck fantasy (what teenaged girl wouldn’t want a boy band member to fall for them?). Recommended for young girls and for those of us who are still young at heart.