Author: Jennifer Echols
Pages: 259 (Paperback)
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: February 7, 2011
Gemma can’t believe her luck when the star football player starts flirting with her. Max is totally swoon-worthy, and even gets her quirky sense of humor. So when he asks out her so-called best friend Addison, Gemma’s heartbroken.
Then Addison pressures Gemma to join the date with one of Max’s friends. But the more time they all spend together, the harder Gemma falls for Max. She can’t help thinking that Max likes her back—it’s just too bad he’s already dating Addison. How can Gemma get the guy she wants without going after her best friend’s boyfriend?
Gemma van Cleve is a true high school underdog. She's the unpopular, pudgy girl who wears whatever she wants and only fits in with the drama and music crowd. In fact, she sounds a lot like me in high school (and even now), so I could definitely relate to her. Her best friend, Addison, is self-absorbed, unsupportive, and down right mean! I can't imagine being friends with her, but Gemma has known her for so long, it's easier to just stay friends than call her out on her crap and move on. "Have I mentioned that I did not like my best friend very much?" At least Gemma's willing to admit it! She also has a crush on a male friend, who thinks he's too cool for school and is a bit of a jerk. He only starts noticing Gemma in "that way" once she's lost 50 pounds and starts dating another guy. She certainly does not surround herself with nice people.
I really enjoyed Gemma's narrative. It's very conversational, and she doesn't hold anything back. She's honest, funny, and snarky. I remained engaged from the beginning to the end, even if the situation wasn't particularly interesting, which was the case from time to time. It was interesting seeing her escape Addison's shadow and become more confident in herself as she sheds weight and insecurities. There were times when I didn't agree with how Gemma handled things, but I'm glad she was able to stand up for herself and get what she wanted.
This was my first book by Jennifer Echols and I'm looking forward to checking out more of her work. The One That I Want is a fun, cute love story with memorable characters, but it also touches on other important topics such as body imagine, friendship and honesty. I'd definitely recommend this one.