My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan by Seth Rudetsky
"Justin has two goals for sophomore year: to date Chuck, the hottest boy in school, and to become the king of Cool U, the table in the cafeteria where the "in" crowd sits.
Unfortunately, he has the wrong look (short, plump, Brillo-pad curls), he has the wrong interests (Broadway, chorus violin), and he has the wrong friends (Spencer, into Eastern religions, and Mary Ann, who doesn't shave her armpits). And Chuck? Well, he's not gay; he's dating Becky, a girl in chorus with whom Justin is friendly.
But Justin is determined.
In detention one day (because he saw Chuck get it first), Justin comes up with a perfect plan: to allow Becky to continue dating Chuck, whom Becky's dad hates. They will pretend that Becky is dating Justin, whom Becky's dad loves. And when Becky and Justin go out on a fake date, Chuck will meet up with them for a real date with Becky. Chuck's bound to find Justin irresistable, right? What could go wrong?"- summary from Amazon
OK so I really need to read summaries before starting a book because I had no idea this was a gay novel until I started reading it. No joke, I re-read the first page just to be sure that it was a male narrator commenting on wanting a boyfriend. This of course made me really want to read the novel even more so than before.
Anyway, this is the kind of book I'd like to write- a hilarious, sarcastic, compelling book about a gay protagonist navigating through high school. I was so happy to see so much humor in the book (pretty much a laugh a page, if not more) because while I love all the gay teen books I've read, there aren't that many that are also hilarious.
I loved how Rudetsky wrote Justin and Spencer's friendship- it felt realistic, and it was nice to see two gay guys just being friends. Reading about their friendship and inside jokes and rituals was really fun and kept the pages turning. What also kept me compelled was the whole comedy of errors going on as Justin went through fake-dating Becky to try real-dating Chuck.
Overall, a fantastic YA debut and I really hope Rudetsky writes more!