The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) – Amy Spalding


A ridiculously cute, formerly-famous new guy dropping into your life? It’s practically every girl’s dream.

But not Jules McCallister-Morgan’s.

I realize that on paper I look like your standard type-A, neurotic, overachiever. And maybe I am. But I didn’t get to be the editor of my school’s long-revered newspaper by just showing up*. I have one main goal for my senior year-early acceptance into my first choice Ivy League college-and I will not be deterred by best friends, moms who think I could stand to “live a little,” or boys.

At least, that was the plan before I knew about Alex Powell**.

And before Alex Powell betrayed me***.

I know what you’re thinking: Calm down, Jules. But you don’t understand. This stuff matters. This is my life. And I’m not going down without a fight.


* Okay, I sort of did. But it’s a sore subject.

** I mean, I guess everyone knows about Alex Powell? Two years ago, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about viral video boy band sensation Chaos 4 All. Two years ago, Alex Powell was famous.

***Some people think I’m overreacting. But this. Means. War.

Filled with romance, rivalry, and passive-aggressive dog walking, Amy Spalding delivers a hilariously relatable high school story that’s sure to have you falling for The New Guy.


Ahhh, I was a huge fan of this book! Amy Spalding makes the perfect vanilla-fluffy rom coms. Yes, some parts are a little young for me now. And Chaos 4 All is exactly the kind of cringey thing that haunts one-hit-wonders. But I relate a lot to Jules, and Alex is swoon-worthy. All these people in Jules’s life are AMAZING, and I just want to live in her world. Let’s face it ā€” I’d probably be Natalie here, but I admire Jules and think she’s learning and growing into a great member of society.

I wish Jules’s pessimistic outlook on the inevitable loss of her friendship with Sadie and Em was somehow addressed more. I also wish we got a chance to find out about her be-all, end-all goal of getting into Brown. These are important aspects of her life… friends and academia! They need to be resolved! Also, here’s what I wished would happen: for her not to get into Brown (maybe waitlisted or something sucky, but also something that a lot of high school seniors have to face), but getting into, say, Columbia. In the City of New York. Do you see what I’m getting at here? Em and Sadie plan to study in New York (NYU and Julliard, maybe?)! It would be such a satisfying way to tie up that loose thread.

Aside from that, I really like how a lot of this was handled. Jules does have some skewed priorities, and she’s passionate to the extreme, but I UNDERSTAND THAT. It’s not often that you see someone so driven and hyper-competitive shown in a positive light. I’m glad that part of one’s psyche is now explained to people who aren’t like Jules (or me). I’m also glad we got to read about someone so well-adjusted socially and with such close familial ties. These are all things that I relate to, and what more could you ask for from a book?

Well, I suppose you could also ask for swoony scenes in a supply closet. šŸ™‚

Related Reading

  • The Reece Malcolm List – Amy Spalding (still her best work!)
  • Famous Last Words – Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
  • Jesse’s Girl – Miranda Kenneally
  • This is What Happy Looks Like – Jennifer E. Smith
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Rating: 4/5


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