My Invisible Boyfriend
By Susie Day
Heidi has a hard time finding and meeting friends. Her parents have moved from boarding school to boarding school to be teachers and administrators for as long as Heidi can remember. That means that she also goes from boarding school to boarding school. It’s hard to find friends when you don’t stay long and your parents can give kids detention at the drop of a hat.
Now Heidi has a real chance at friendship with a group of friends nicknamed “The Leftover Squad” whom she met the previous semester before summer break. For once, she gets to stay at the same school, with the same kids.
Unfortunately, things changed over the summer. Now all of her friends have boyfriends and she’s still fifteen and loveless. Feeling left out, Heidi decides to create a guy of her own: Gingerbread Ed. Part gingerbread man, bought from the tea shop she works at; part Mycroft Christie, fictional time-traveling hero of Heidi’s favorite TV show; part Heidi herself. Mix together, create an online profile, and bake until ready for the world.
Now Heidi has the perfect guy; he’s so perfect that her friends are now emailing him for advice about relationships, dating, and even Heidi herself.
Of course, secrets this big are hard to keep, and when Heidi begins getting email from “arealboy” telling her that he knows what she’s doing, Heidi has to make a choice. Keep the invisible boy and risk everyone finding out, or dump him and become known as the loveless loser again.
Final thoughts: It’s set in England, so there’s an immediate problem with culture shock. Day also has a weird way of expressing shock with statements like “ORES UM”, “PARD ON MOY”, and “OUTS TAN DING”, some of which are hard to interpret. She also skips a lot of exposition and jumps almost headlong into the story, causing a bit of confusion. However, once past the initial moments of “toss her in and see if she can swim”, it becomes a fairly good read. There are no great messages or value statements; it’s just a rom-com type story that could be easily made into a formulaic movie. Cotton candy, but with an English (as in England-English) twist in the language.