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Breaking Up is Really, Really Hard to Do: Dating Game #2    by Natalie Standiford order for
Breaking Up is Really, Really Hard to Do
by Natalie Standiford
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2005 (2005)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is the second Dating Game book, continuing the exploration of romance and relationships by three female high school students at Rosewood School for Alternative Gifted Education (RSAGE). In the introductory episode, Lina Ozu, Madison Markowitz and Holly Anderson's project for their sex ed class evolved into a dating service, which they've kept going for the popularity boost it gives them.

Holly got what she wanted - she and Rob Safran have been dating - but now she's not sure she wants him any more. Little things irritate her; he's almost too nice. She ditches him and then has second thoughts. Mads and Lina are still coping with unrequited crushes - Mads for hot school senior Sean Benedetto, and Lina for her teacher, Dan Shulman (this creates an unlikely alliance between Lina and goth Ramona who leads a Dan-worshipping cult).

Lina gets herself in deep waters - posing as film student Larissa - when she responds to a personal ad that her teacher (aka Beauregard) has posted on the net. They exchange emails on a regular basis and soon Beauregard wants to meet Larissa in the flesh; what should Lina do? Mads meets a new student, Stephen, who shares her passion for art, and is deep. But she's convinced that he likes Holly.

It's a cute series about likeable young women trying out their feelings for the opposite sex for the first time, and often getting it wrong. But they learn from their mistakes and move on. And the stories are immersed in modern communication technology - IMs and emails and blogs. These, and the comments the teens make about their peers, are often hilarious.

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