While walking her mother's dog, Taryn Greenleaf meets John Epplin, known as Epp. Epp is handsome, athletic, and anything a girl could ask for. The only problem, however, is that Epp already has a girlfriend, Isabelle. Taryn and Isabelle have known each other since kindergarten, but they are not exactly friends. Taryn and her best friend, Lila, decide that Taryn should do whatever it takes to become close to Epp. Suddenly, Taryn is hanging out Isabelle, Epp, and a completely different crowd, and Lila is not quite sure this is what she wanted. One thing, although, has not changed: Epp is still Isabelle's boyfriend...
Before I began reading Isabelle's Boyfriend, I pretty much knew the novel would be sugary fluff. Sugary fluff is not necessarily a bad thing, and in correct dosage, fluff can actually be quite good. Looking back, Isabelle's Boyfriend did not have the perfect amount of fluff, but it came pretty darn close. In the novel, Taryn tries to get something nearly every girl has wanted: someone else's boyfriend. While obviously this is a big disaster waiting to happen, Taryn's actions did not leave me cringing the way I thought they would. Instead, Caroline Hickey writes them in an endearing way, and readers will feel for Taryn. I also liked that Hickey focused on the pet dog. On the top of my head, I can not even think of another YA novel that plays so much focus on a pet. This will be a pleasant surprise for YA readers sick of the "normal" YA family.
Overall, however, I thought the characters were underdeveloped. I wish that Hickey would have focused more on the changing friendship between Taryn and Lila. That whole situation seemed not only underdeveloped, but also slightly rushed. I also would have liked to see more depth to Isabelle and Epp. Isabelle is the jealous girlfriend, and Epp is the flirty boyfriend. They seemed too typical.
Isabelle's Boyfriend is perfect for anyone looking for something sweet in their YA diet.
Caroline Hickey's Site
I received this as a part of Holt's In Group program.