Katie Ellison is not a liar.
It’s just that telling the truth is so . . . tricky. She knows she shouldn’t be making out with a drama club hottie behind her football- player boyfriend’s back. She should probably admit that she can’t stand eating quahogs (clams), especially since she’s running for Quahog Princess in her hometown’s annual Quahog Festival. And it would be a relief to finally tell someone what really happened the night Tommy Sullivan is a freak was spray-painted on the new wall outside the junior high school gymnasium-in neon orange, which still hasn’t been sandblasted off. After all, everyone knows that’s what drove Tommy out of town four years ago.
But now Tommy Sullivan has come back. Katie is sure he’s out for revenge, and she’ll do anything to hang on to her perfect (if slightly dishonest) existence. Even if it means telling more lies than ever. Even if, now that Tommy’s around, she’s actually-no lie- having the time of her life.
The summer before senior year, life looks good for Katie Ellison, girlfriend of football player Seth Turner (who has “the most sought-after tongue in all of Eastport”). She’s waitressing at the Gull ‘n Gulp and making out on the sly with Eric Flutely, star of the school musical. With the cash she’s sure to earn by placing in the Quahog Princess pageant-one of the four contestants is an anarchist whose platform involves allowing Eastport’s famed quahogs (clams) “to live free, without fear of being dug up and eaten”-she can pay off the balance on the professional camera she wants. Then Tommy Sullivan returns to town. Katie and Tommy were close friends until he became a pariah after penning an expos about SAT cheating by football players, a scandal that cost Seth’s brother a scholarship. Katie betrayed Tommy rather than be ostracized by association, but Tommy is no longer the skinny brainiac who left Eastport: he’s tan, buff and ultra-confident. Boy-crazy Katie, who admits to a kissing addiction, is more than smitten: she may be in love with her boyfriend’s archenemy. The lies Katie tells to keep her romantic indiscretions under wraps build until she realizes the truth is her only recourse. It may be a bit tough to conjure sympathy for a pageant contestant with a straight-A average and three hot guys in her orbit-but tweens and teens will likely find this amusing fare as easy to swallow as iced tea on a hot afternoon. – Publishers Weekly