Girl meets boy. Girl likes boy.Girl gets friend to help win boy.Friend ends up with crush on boy...Skylar's got ambitious #goals. And if she wants them to come true, she has to get to work now. (At least she thinks so...) Step one in her epic plan is showing everyone that her latest app is brilliant. To do that, she's going to use it to win State at the Scholastic Exposition, the nerdiest academic competition around.First, she'll need a team, and Skylar's not always so good with people. But she'll do whatever it takes to put one together ... even if it means playing Cupid for her teammates Joey and Zane, at Joey's request. When things get off to an awkward start for them, Skylar finds herself stepping in to help Joey. Anything to keep her on the team. Only, Skylar seems to be making everything more complicated. Especially when she realizes she might be falling for Zane, which was not a #goal. Can Skylar figure out her feelings, prove her app's potential to the world, and win State without losing her friends--or is her path to greatness over before it begins?
Johnson (Technically, You Started It) combines the old and the new, balancing familiar romance themes with up-to-date dialogue and text talk in a clever cyber-age novel about an ambitious teen who has everything planned out. Skylar Collins, who is white, wants to own her own tech company in five years; before that, though, she needs to accomplish a few other things. First on the agenda is leading her high school ScholEx team to victory at a regional quiz bowl competition just as soon as she rounds up enough members to qualify. To get musically inclined Joey on the team, Skylar agrees to find out if Joey's crush, debate partner Zane, likes her. Skylar brings coding prowess to the problem, creating Requite, a matchmaking app that can answer the question. As the app's fast-growing popularity demands much time and energy, distracting Skylar from her goals and making her rethink what's important, her own growing attraction to Zane complicates matters. The novel's outcome is fairly predictable, with secondary characters that sometimes fall flat, but Johnson successfully conveys the pitfalls of following too narrow a path in a novel whose wit and relatable crises keep pages turning. Ages 12 up.