Katie’s parents have this cycle. They fight, usually over her dad’s inattentiveness and her mom’s need to be acknowledged, things become tense in the house for a couple of days, then her dad buys her mom flowers or jewelry and things go back to normal for awhile. Not this time. This time Katie’s mom decides that she is going on extended vacation to stay with some old college friends, the Cooper-Melnicks, at their house in Cape Cod and take Katie with her. Understandably, Katie’s upset. Cape Cod is over half the country away from her home and she’s already started off a great summer taking a writing class and hanging out with her best friend. To make matters worse, when Katie and her mom arrive in Cape Cod, Sarah, the Cooper-Melnick’s daughter, treats Katie like she’s not worthy enough to be Sarah’s friend. Just when Katie begins to think all hope is lost for her summer, she meets Sarah’s friend Adam. Adam shares her love of literature and they have a great time when they hang out. Katie thinks she may have found the guy who will be her first boyfriend when she learns that Adam has a secret. When his secret comes out, Katie will have to decide what exactly she wants from Adam and their relationship, and whether or not she is girlfriend material.
Reaction: Perfect summer reading! It is easy to relate to what Katie is going through. She and her mother have never really been that close because her mother is into more “girly” things like crafting and shopping while Kate is into tennis and writing. Because of her lack of closeness with her mother and because her parents fighting seems like second nature in the household, Katie is ill-prepared for her mother’s impromptu trip and doesn’t really understand how close her parents are to splitting up. She really thinks her mother is just throwing a hissy-fit to end all hissy-fits and subjecting Katie to the fall out. Only after spending some time in Cape Cod and having her father, with whom she’s always been close, brush her off as if he doesn’t have time for her, does Katie begin to see the seriousness of her parent’s relationship problems and view the situation from both her father and mother’s perspectives.
The best part of the story, though, is Katie’s relationship with Adam. I think every teenage girl should read this story so they can know they’re not alone. All of the uncertainties that I felt when I first started dating were acted out through Katie: not wanting to read too much into a friendship, afraid after one date or one kiss you’ll never hear from the other person again, and trying to act cool or like you don’t really care when you’re really feeling needy or insecure. Katie and Adam’s relationship made me feel better about my first dating experiences even though they happened over 10 years ago now! :)
If you’re looking for something light and romantic but something that also has a bit of substance, definitely look for Girlfriend Material.