Meg Cabot knows the rhythms of teen-speak. She understands teen angst. She obviously hangs out and observes teens in action. Perhaps that is why teen girls love her books. PANTS ON FIRE is the story of Katie, part time waitress and wannabee professional photographer and, well, two timer. She is juggling a boyfriend and another boy she is playing tongue hockey with when Tommy Sullivan arrives back in town. Tommy had been forced to leave several years earlier after he revealed some major SAT cheating on the part of the Quahog football players. Now Tommy is Tom, older and more buff and a real hottie according to Katie's friends.
Most of the reviews have mentioned that this is light fare, and that evaluation is right on target. However, I do not consider that to be a disadvantage in a book. For years, I spent summers lounging in the pool reading "trashy" books. I still enjoy reading PEOPLE Magazine, and I do not apologize. It is part of my reading fare. And boy do we need romances for younger teens, too. I can SO see this one as a Disney made for TV movie with Zac Ephron playing Tommy. Cabot has carved out a nice territory with PANTS ON FIRE and shows her range with her other books beyond the Princess Diaries series.
There are several endearing moments in this book not the least of which is when Katie, vying for Quahog Princess, confesses her revulsion about these bivalves. Count on this book for a few grins, some guffaws, and (for me) some winces as you recall those guilty times making out with your boyfriends.