In the wealthy town of Sundale, Kelli Pinkins has hatched the perfect plan to capitalize on her sweet reputation. For a generous fee, she will be every trust-fund baby’s dream: a Friday-night alibi, the “girlfriend” or “BFF” that parents dream about. With college approaching in the fall, Kelli’s services are in demand more than ever, which means that her social life is nonexistent. But Kelli is A-okay with that. She’s raking in cash for school. Besides, relationships are tricky, and sometimes very messy. She’d rather be at home on Xbox LIVE, anyway. Then the unexpected happens: She meets college stud Chase Maroney.
Chase isn’t like the preppy, privileged guys Kelli usually meets in Sundale. For starters, he’s twentysomething, always wears black., and he shoots back one-liners as fast as she can dish them out. But Kelli’s attempts to drive Chase away falter when she realizes that he treats her like he really knows her, like he cares about knowing her. When Kelli finally gives in to the delicious kiss she’s been fighting for so long, she faces a tough decision: make Chase a real-life boyfriend and risk her heart . . . or keep her clients and lose her first true love.
Kelli’s used to being the girl everyone says they’re with when they’re really out with someone else. She’s the girl with the good reputation that keeps them from getting in trouble with their parents — and she’s fine with that. After all, she’s making plenty of money to just sit at home and not be seen while they’re off doing whatever their parents wouldn’t approve of. But then she meets Chase.
Chase is obnoxious and funny and rather easy on the eyes. She knows he’s older, but she’s not sure how much. But he’s the one person she can count on to always be around, even when she’s not expecting him. From mercilessly teasing her to worrying about her when she’s upset, he’s quickly becoming someone she can call a friend. And he’s not a bad kisser either.
As much fun as this book is, Kelli’s a bit to naive to really be believable. I mean, even the most sheltered girls aren’t immune to crushes when they’re eighteen years old. And while I have no trouble believing she’s a good, church-going girl who hasn’t had a boyfriend, it just seems so unlikely that a girl whose filthy-rich parents leave her alone constantly wouldn’t find some kind of trouble. That’s not to say I didn’t like her, just that she remained more fictional to me than the characters I normally meet in books.
After reading Switched, I was thrilled to get my hands on another book by Cassie Mae. That book made me so ridiculously happy that I just knew this one was going to blow me away. Granted, Friday Night Alibi was really sweet and often laugh-out-loud funny, but it didn’t quite rank up there where Switched did. At least not with me. Though I should probably know better than to go into any book with such uncommonly high hopes. But once I sort of separate the two, I can better judge this one.
Friday Night Alibi is a really sweet, very romantic, rather innocent look at first love. While Chase has been through something absolutely heartbreaking, the story doesn’t lean heavily on angst. It’s more a look at a true friendship that develops into something more between two characters who weren’t necessarily looking for a relationship. It’s also entirely appropriate for younger teens who probably shouldn’t be reading about sexual awakenings the way most teen romances tend to play things out. Kelli and Chase are so sweet together, all while being utterly hilarious, and while it deals with some family issues, it stays away from some of the grittier content I’ve read lately. If you’re looking for a feel-good book that doesn’t cross any adults-only lines, here it is.