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The Girlfriend Project by Robin Friedman

Front cover of The Girlfriend Project by Robin Friedman.
Front cover of The Girlfriend Project by Robin Friedman.
photo (c)

REED WALTON, SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD ULTIMATE NICE GUY, HAS NEVER HAD A GIRLFRIEND OR EVEN KISSED A GIRL. At this rate, the Princeton-bound senior may be headed for the priesthood.

But Reed’s next-door neighbors and best friends since kindergarten, Lonnie and Ronnie White, have hatched a plan on the day before senior year starts at Marlborough Regional High School.

And, ready or not, The Girlfriend Project is about to change Reed’s life in ways he can’t imagine.

(c) Summary, -


“Friedman's effort is packed with laughs and dang-I-pity-the-fool embarrassing scenes… Recommended for teenage girls of almost all ages, this title is a feel-good story for those who are hoping to find their true love.” —Voice of Youth Advocates

“Reed Walton has gone from dork to stud over the summer. His best friends and next door neighbors, the twins Ronnie and Lonnie, are helping him adjust to his new status… There is a lot to like in this unpredictable romance/friendship/coming of age novel… Though the cover will attract more female readers, I hope some guys will discover this novel, too.” —Professor Nana/The Goddess of YA Literature

“Seventeen-year-old narrator Reed, a ‘Card-Carrying Dork,’ has never had a girlfriend or even kissed a girl, so his popular best friends launch ‘The Girlfriend Project’… Friedman adds some clever touches here: she blends Reed’s own identity search with his home state’s search for a motto, which leads to some fun exchanges between the characters.” —Publishers Weekly

“Reed has always been a dorky all-round nice guy with thick glasses and braces. During the summer he transforms like a phoenix into a notable hottie. With no social graces, his friends come to the rescue and set up a website to help him find a girlfriend.” —Top Picks, Courtesy of St. Albert Public Library, St. Albert Gazette

“Reed’s a little clueless, but very charming (I mean, hey, where was this guy when I was in high school??) and definitely doesn’t have a big head about his newfound popularity… I really liked this book and the character of Reed. He’s very lovable and believable. It’s easy to see why the girls start flocking to him once they figure out what is what.” — Young Adult Books Central

Young adult fiction, ages 13-18; paperback, 192 pages.


Reed Walton has never had a girlfriend. But over the summer before his senior year, he's gone instantly from dork to drop-dead gorgeous. He's grown taller, gotten his braces off, and the girls at school are starting to fawn over him. Girls that he'd asked out in previous years are regretting saying no, and begging to be with him; the popular girls are even giving him notice--including the gorgeous, most popular girl in school, who happens to have the locker right next to him.

But Reed knows absolutely nothing about girls. Nothing. He's always been much more interested in school. So his best friends, and next-door neighbors, fraternal twins, Ronnie and Lonnie, set up "The Girlfriend Project" to get him steady on his feet. It starts out as lists for do's and don'ts, and then escalates to even more--including a website called, where his classmates can anonymously leave feedback on questions that he's asked them; "How important are looks to you?" and "If a guy doesn't kiss you on the first date, what does that mean?"

Before he knows it, Reed has gone out on his first date, and then his second date the very next day. But he's unimpressed by the girls at school that are interested in him, and it takes until the end of the novel until he, predictably, falls for his best friend, the girl next door. She suits him, and they make the perfect storybook romance; very Cinderella-esque, seeing as Reed rescued Ronnie, theoretically, of course.

The Girlfriend Project is a story that contradicts everything the modern teenage girl thinks about boys. Reed is entirely uninterested in the physical aspects of the girl he's dating. In fact, he resents the fact that his appearance changed and that was the only reason the girls at his school liked him. He insists throughout the entire book that he was the same person, and reveals from his dates that they only like him because he's cute. When he finally realises that it was Ronnie he was meant for, his entire being changes, and the book takes an interesting route towards the end that you'll have to read to find out!

Overall Rating; A.


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