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10 Ways to Cope with Boys    by Caroline Plaisted order for
10 Ways to Cope with Boys
by Caroline Plaisted
Order:  USA  Can
Pulse, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In 10 Ways to Cope with Boys, a sequel to 10 Things to Do Before You're 16, Caroline Plaisted brings us YA chick lit with an English accent and Brit slang (good things are brilliant, while rubbish is an adjective) that's fast becoming familiar to North American Harry Potter fans.

The series stars two best friends, Beth and Anna. In the first book, they both acquired boyfriends, who are also best friends (and football maniacs) - for the last three months Anna has been with Sam, and Beth with Anna's 'dead good-looking' brother Joey. Beth's angst begins after a magazine quiz, 'You and Your Lad: Suit Him or Boot Him?' raises questions in her mind about her relationship with Joey, and she can't make them go away. Though she thinks about Joey a lot, Beth doesn't really seem to know much about him - and she wishes she could talk openly to her best friend about her boyfriend, but of course she can't.

In between bouts of antagonism with freako Frankie and her gang of acolytes, the occasional awkward double date, and Beth's becoming a model in a hairdressing competition (Anna works for the hair stylist, Nicky), Beth broods about boyfriends. Eventually, her mother picks up on her moods, and dispenses wise advice - as does Anna when she finds out what's worrying her best mate. It's a sweet read, easily digested, that reflects how much adolescents worry at events, while emphasizing the strength and value of a supportive friend.

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