Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Kate Evangelista
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Stella Marie Patterson knows what her senior year ought to consist of: dances, applying to and preparing for fashion school, and getting a boyfriend, all without the overprotective influence of her brother Cam, who's gone off to college with his best friend and Stella's longtime crush, Will. Stella's best friend Franklin, who is as active a fashion designer as she is, helps her put together a bracket of guys she can choose from, all picked on the basis of charm and good looks. Simple. All Stella has to do is go on a weekly date, choose a winner, and forget about Will—all while putting together a killer portfolio of her fashion designs.
Evangelista's novel works to cover a lot of bases (brother's-best-friend-romance trope, mean girls at school, fashion guru, compelling best friend, and quirky bracket plot) and might have done better to focus on one or two. There is so much potential conflict, but the fact that the only thing keeping Stella and Will apart is Stella's brother's overprotective nature makes the romantic conflict a bit unbelievable. This was a fun dip into the fashion design world, and it is a decent school story with some interesting side characters, but too much going on in such a few pages made for some disappointing underdevelopment.
*Contains moderate language and mild sexual content.