Playing With Matches by Brian Katcher
Synopsis: Leon Sanders has a mug that looks like it should be hanging in a post office with the caption WANTED FOR SHOPLIFTING AND CREDIT CARD FRAUD. His new locker neighbor is Melody Hennon—class outcast and certified freak. Everyone at school keeps their distance from Melody because she was burned in a childhood accident. Leon has avoided her too, until the day he takes a chance, tells her a bad joke, and makes her laugh. No one, least of all Leon, could have predicted that Melody would turn out to be a funny, smart, and interesting person, or that he and Melody would become good friends . . . and later, more than friends.But when junior class hottie Amy Green asks Leon out after he saves her from getting detention, his devotion to Melody hangs in the balance. Leon tries to find a way out of this nasty dilemma without hurting anyone, but soon he realizes—a little too late—that playing with someone’s heart is as dangerous as playing with matches.
Review: I liked this book; it was funny and entertaning. I laughed as Leon told his not-so-funny jokes and liked Melody more everytime as she opened up to Leon and understood his humor. Like in every other book about a guy wanting to date the most popular--and not to mention prettiest girl in school--they change. That's what Leon did. Even though he felt himself falling for Melody, his mind always wandered back to Amy. Did that bother me? Yes. I hated how Leon would always be nice to Melody one minute, and then drool over Amy the next. He was indecisive throughout the middle of the book, and when he thought he was finally done with Melody for good, he realized it was a big mistake.
I think the ending was well done. If Melody would've forgiven and gotten back with Leon, I would've thought it was too rushed and cliched. But the author left it opened for us to interpret what would happen next--although, the last line of the book pretty much sealed the deal.
(Yes, I am evil. Why not give one tenth of a point more so it would be 4 stars? Because that's how I rate it :] )
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