Biggest Flirts is #1 in the Superlatives series about seniors at a Florida high school who are selected for their class's superlative categories in the yearbook, and how the labels change the way they view themselves and alter the course of their lives.
The yearbook votes have been cast. Senior year is about to get interesting.
Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laid-back swagger.
As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing away Will drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirt along with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will's new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started out as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated…
Published by Simon Pulse, a division of Simon & Schuster.
ISBNs: Hardcover, 978-1442474468; paperback, 978-1442474451; e-book, 978-1442474475.
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"Tia Cruz doesn’t live by a lot of rules.
She’s the first to arrive to a party and the last to leave. Her aversion to responsibility carries over to school, where she keeps her photographic memory on the down low and intentionally scores a C in Spanish despite being bilingual. But Tia’s no-strings-attached playbook gets put to the test when Will Matthews moves to town. Sparks fly when the two meet, and the one-night stand that follows is both inevitable and swoon-worthy. But despite their undeniable chemistry, Tia is determined not to break the one rule she does live by: Never get attached. Tia’s reasons for never wanting a boyfriend are deep-rooted, and perhaps that is why she is able to convince herself that she’s fine when Will lands himself another girl. Plus, girlfriend or not, Tia and Will can’t seem to keep their hands off each other at band practice. But when the senior class votes them “Biggest Flirts,” things get serious, and Tia is forced to choose between her feelings and her fears. Tia’s breezy narration carries readers through the book with a witty profanity that doesn’t quite cover up her insecurity and ably shows off her innate smarts.
Teen romance fans on the hunt for a flirty fix will find plenty to enjoy in this sexy, fun beach read. (Fiction. 14-17)"--Kirkus Reviews
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"Jennifer Echols writes some of my favorite girl protagonists. They remind me of girls I went to high school with in the best way. These girls are not the damsels in distress. Instead, they are tough, funny and can stand on their own two feet. Her girls also feel like real high school girls because they are busy. Tia's in band, has an after school job outside, has friends and family pressures, all outside of her interest in Will. Real girls are complicated and multi-faceted and I love that Jennifer Echols writes girls who are like that too.
Another reason to read Echols is that when her characters have chemistry it basically burns up the pages. Will and Tia spend a lot of time just busting each others chops on the football field at band practice and there is just as much chemistry in these scenes as a lot of kissing scenes you'll read in other YA. These two are quick, really seem to get each other and it makes for a really fun read to see whether they'll ever get it together."--TATAL Online: Teens at the Arlington Library
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"First of all, YAY for another awesome marching band book. Considering most high schools have football teams and most of those schools have marching bands to go with them, I feel there is a distinct lack of band books in ya. Good thing my girl Jenn always delivers! Marching band was a huge part of my life for 20 years. Yes, 20. I was five when my brother joined the marching band, and my family had at least one child (occasionally two) in that band until I graduated. Then, I was part of my college band for four years with a two year break during which I went back to assist my high school again. So, yes, I'm always happy when there's a book that captures in some way an activity that was so meaningful to me.
Secondly, this actually isn't a straight up band book. Biggest Flirts is a book about labels and identity, both the ones others place on us and the ones we place on ourselves. As such, I think Jenn did a wonderful job of creating beautifully complex characters. At first look, Tia is a somewhat-naughty girl. She's the girl at the party keeping the beer company, and we find out she likes no-strings hookups, particularly with bad boy Sawyer. Then we find out she's an incredibly intelligent slacker, and the youngest sister in a family rife with emotional drama from a workaholic dad and an absentee mother. All of these identities are true, but some are fact while others are the roles Tia plays for self-preservation (and totally reminding me of Jude in Sarah Ockler's Book of Broken Hearts in the process). And then there's Will. First look through Tia's eyes, he's a pirate, an appropriate brand of naughty compatible with her own. But then, Will transforms into Tia's worst nightmare: a Good Guy, the Boy Next Door, a straight-A-earning, overachieving drum captain/drum major/class president. He's also the cuckolded boyrfriend, betrayed by his closes friends from Minnesota, and the F***ing New Guy, who is a snobby douche. Once again, some of these labels are simple facts while others are prepetuated by high school herd mentality and Will's shyness.
Meanwhile, Tia and Will's explosive chemistry and easy friendship prevent them from keeping their hands off one another, leading the class to label them Biggest Flirts. The primary conflict of the novel comes from Will and Tia's comfort in some of their labels and fear of others. Will's problems seem to stem from the fact that as the new guy, he has to completely rebuild his public persona from scratch while attempting to overcome the early judgments placed on him in Florida, and Tia's come from the fact that she pigeonholed herself into her labels very early in her life and she can't overcome them now that people have come to expect it of her. I think Biggest Flirts could entirely exist without any secondary charactrers since Tia and Will seem to provide enough conflict when it's just the two of them, but I do like that many of the secondaries help Tia and Will challenge their labels.
I am fascinated by this series. I've already read Biggest Flirts twice in six months and loved it both times. I think Jenn has taken a staple of the high school experience, class superlatives, and used it to truly explore how labels official and otherwise affect the recipients. If you are looking for a book that turns teenage identity on its head, Biggest Flirts and its upcoming sequels will definitely be right up your alley. Speaking of sequels, is it time for Perfect Couple yet?!"--Mary Had a Little Book Blog