Like, what would the nearest thing to a Greek god see in me: plain, self-conscious, ordinary, bland Maddy Kemper? He was Fettucine Alfredo and I was macaroni and cheese. He was vintage champagne and I was Gallo Jug Burgundy.
Once I remembered how much joy Ellen Conford‘s If This Is Love, I’ll Take Spaghetti brought me, I wanted–nay, needed–to read Seven Days to a Brand New Me, another book I loved as a teen. My library did not have it, but that is why God invented inter-library loans. Or why librarians did. Whatever.
Anyway! On to the book! Which was just as fun as I remembered!
Maddy is in loooove with Adam, even though she has never, ever spoken a word to him. But the great benevolent locker gods did one thing right: gave her a locker next to Adam. Aw. So she has been mooning over him, sure though she is that he couldn’t possibly have noticed her. Because she’s boring and mousy, see? Which is why she’s so drawn to the plain-covered self-help book Seven Days to a Brand New You. The author promises that anyone can change his/her life in seven days. So Maddy embarks on her plan to transform herself and win Adam’s affections. Or at least get him to say hi to her.
Although I had remembered the major plot, I had forgotten how great all the character stuff in this book is. Karen, the friend who is historically terrible at school; Sandy, the track star; Terence, the classmate who knows random facts about everything; and, of course, dumb, damn Mary Louise.
The characters in this book are so great. I love Karen, Maddy’s friend. She’s the reason I always remembered what “chercher” meant in French class. Did you know armadillos are the only animals besides humans who get leprosy? Well, Terence does. And Maddy! Maddy is so obsessed with romance novels that she frequently pictures Adam riding into school on a horse and sweeping her off her feet. Love Maddy. She is so fun and funny. And I love that she’s shy and witty (but only witty around her close friends). I also love that she and her mom read the same books, so when her mom burns through the carrots while reading a particular part of the steamy romance novel, Maddy skips ahead to those parts to see why.
So yeah, loved the characters.
And that’s not even mentioning the romance novel within the story about Doña Veronica and Ernesto and their fiery romance.
Also: happy endings! Who doesn’t love a happy ending? A happy ending that reinforces you are fine just the way you are, but maybe, just maybe, you did need to show a little more confidence, natch. Oh, and that the boy you are so in love with is not a Greek god but is, in fact, just a boy.
Totally worth getting the ILL. I wish I still owned it so I could read it when I need a pick me up. The book is nice and short and fun. Oh, Ellen Conford. You are so great. So, so great.