The Starter Boyfriend by Tina Ferraro
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: November 4, 2012
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
Seventeen-year-old Courtney has an enviable part-time job at a tuxedo-rental store. Her boss is a great guy, cute boys come in regularly to be fitted, and best of all is her "starter boyfriend," a store mannequin Courtney has dubbed with the name, "Tux." She knows that clinging to a mannequin like a child with a teddy bear is nuts, but talking to Tux is extremely safe and soothing, while talking to the living, breathing boy she adores from afar is anything but. Unfortunately for poor Courtney, her long-time friend, a gorgeous, blond surfer named Adam (who is pictured on the terrific cover for this book), has never shown the least indication he returns her romantic feelings.
This book has comic moments, but it has many serious issues as well. Courtney is the child of an alcoholic mother who abandoned her, and ever since Courtney's mother left them, her father has depended on Courtney far too much to run their home and take care of him. The "romance" with the mannequin sounds, on the surface, like a clever, comic premise, but in its execution it is often more sad than funny.
There are elements of family drama, coming of age, and a tiny bit of romance in this appealing story. The ending is a bit rushed, but overall the story is satisfying and uplifting.
I purchased this book as a Kindle edition. It is well designed, formatted and edited.
I rate this book as follows:
Coming of Age Plot: 4
Family Drama Plot: 4