Random House: Bringing You the Best in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Children's Books
Newletters and Alerts

Buy now from Random House

  • The Girl Who Invented Romance
  • Written by Caroline B. Cooney
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307818850
  • Our Price: $7.99
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - The Girl Who Invented Romance

The Girl Who Invented Romance

Written by Caroline B. CooneyAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Caroline B. Cooney


List Price: $7.99


On Sale: August 29, 2012
Pages: 192 | ISBN: 978-0-307-81885-0
Published by : Delacorte Books for Young Readers RH Childrens Books
The Girl Who Invented Romance Cover

Share & Shelve:

  • Add This - The Girl Who Invented Romance
  • Email this page - The Girl Who Invented Romance
  • Print this page - The Girl Who Invented Romance
This book has no tags.
You can add some at Library Thing.


From the author of The Face on the Milk Carton comes a novel about romance and love. Sometimes there is heartbreak, but there can also be happily ever after. Teen girls will follow the complexities of dating, and the difference between falling in love, being in love, and really loving someone, portrayed in this inventive novel.

When 16-year-old Kelly Williams’s best friend, Faith, declares that she will stop playing games and find a real romance, Kelly watches from the sidelines and takes note. She sees Faith, as well as other friends, her brother, and even her parents attempt to play the game of love in their own unique ways. Kelly decides to create an actual game—one that captures the way people behave—and in the process it teaches them a thing or two about what can be considered winning when it comes to matters of the heart.


Chapter 1

I was filling out a magazine quiz to see if my marriage was stable.

"You're sixteen, Kelly," said my best friend. "You don't have a boyfriend, let alone an unstable marriage."

"That just makes it more challenging. I have to dream up a husband, work my way through five years of marriage, and analyze our relationship."

We sprawled on the blue denim bedspread in my room while I finished the quiz. "I got a seventy-three, Faith," I told her.

"What does seventy-three mean?"

I flipped pages. "It means my husband and I are not yet verging on divorce, but we should be aware that we have serious marital difficulties that are going to pose major problems if we don't face them right


I dropped the magazine on the floor and lowered my face right into the bedspread. I've been trying to destroy this denim since the day I bought it, so I can have something fragile and pretty instead. But nothing can damage a denim coverlet. Not dirty shoes, spilled perfume, pizza topping or aerobic exercises.

"It makes me sad," said Faith. "You haven't even met this guy yet, and already your marriage is in trouble."

The magazine had fallen open to a home-decorating page. Here was a bedroom for dreams: open and airy, in soft pale colors, no junk around (like my hair dryer, books, makeup, souvenirs, sweaters that don't fit, sweaters that do fit, homework, new laptop, old broken laptop to which I am irrationally attached). The magazine model was also soft and pale, but you knew that lined up outside her door were dozens of men yearning for her. She just had that confident look.

"That confident look," said Faith, "is because she's getting paid so much. She probably doesn't have a date tonight either, Kelly."

"We should have gone to the basketball game," I said. "Then at least we'd be having fun."

"We were at basketball games Tuesday and Thursday," she said. "How many times a week can a girl watch Will, Scott, Mario, Angie and Jeep?"

I looked at her.

"You're right," she admitted instantly. "A girl could admire those guys every night of the week."

I rolled over. My cheek had a trench line from being pressed against a seam in the denim. If we went to the basketball game now, I'd have to wear a mask. "You know what let's do?" I said, struck by a brilliant idea. "Let's invent a romance game."

"I'm sick of games. I want a real romance."

"Maybe one will come out of this. Three of the five starters on our basketball team are in sociology class with us, right?"


"And sociology is a totally boring forty-five-minute stretch of time five days a week. Right?"


"So let's turn the classroom into a game room. Let's make up rules and play for boys."

"Oh, Kelly," said Faith, really annoyed with me. "I'm not like Megan or Honey. I can't glance a boy's way and have him get all excited and flirty. What do you mean, 'play for boys'? I've been going in and out of crushes since I was twelve and what do I have to show for it? Not a single date. I've read every romance book there is, and every article in every magazine from Seventeen to Cosmo, and what do I have junior year? Every weekend free. Don't let's talk about playing for boys. I can't do it, I don't know how, I've given up. Tomorrow I plan to hurl myself down the cellar stairs anyway."

This was Faith's biggest threat. Her house happens to be a ranch built on a slab. But hey, it sounds impressive.

"Who's your crush on this week?" I said. Faith is always in the grip of a crush. The crush seizes her, rules her life and guides her activities. The worst of it is, the boy never notices. I take that back. Once, in ninth grade, the boy noticed. He fled so thoroughly, she never saw him again to keep the crush alive.

"Angie," Faith said dreamily.

That was definitely a dream. Angie--actually Angelo Angelotti--is the beloved star of the Cummington basketball team. All five of our starters are stars, but it's hard to get excited about, say, the stardom of Will, who is very tall, very bony and so conceited I think he may have spoken to six people in the last year, all of whom were teammates or the coach. It's also hard to get excited about the stardom of Scott, who is personality-free and has the IQ of a cold day in January.

That leaves you with Angie, who has such a terrific time playing basketball that you can't keep your eyes off him (you wouldn't keep your eyes off him anyway, because he's so totally cute), and with Jeep--actually George Peters, initials G.P., leads to Jeep--who is centerfold material. Handsome like a soap opera star, with strong memorable features, thick windblown dark hair and soft sad dark eyes.

I forgot Mario.

Everybody forgets Mario. I'm sure nobody ever has a crush on him. He scores almost as often as Will, but while Will is very tall, so you can distinguish him from the other players, Mario is just sort of there. This is probably the last time I'll need to mention Mario.

If Faith had a crush on Angie, she was standing in line with a lot of other girls, and Angie has never been known to date a girl twice.

"There are eleven boys in sociology class," I said to Faith, "of whom three are basketball stars, right? Will, Jeep and Angie. Right?"

"Right. And two of the other boys are Stephen and Alan, who both have extremely steady girlfriends. And two are Avery and Kenny, who are both extremely total losers. And--"

"Be quiet. I'm planning the game. Don't interrupt."

Faith rolled her eyes. She got off the bed, wandered around my room and landed in front of my fingernail polish collection. Last Christmas my two grandmothers, my aunt and the neighbor I babysit for all gave me enormous gift sets of nail polish. I could go into retail right off my dresser. "Can I try the silver decals and the Roseblush Frost?" said Faith.

"You may have the silver decals and the Roseblush Frost. Here's how our game will go, Faith. I've worked it out in my mind. We'll walk into sociology class on Monday."

"I'm with you. We're walking into sociology."

"And there are eleven boys in the room."

"If you count Chuckie, who in my opinion does not qualify as human, never mind being the right gender."

"I am counting Chuckie. This is a game of chance. You take risks."

"I hate chance. I like skill," said Faith.

"If we had any skill, we'd be off somewhere tonight with the boys of our choice."

"Good point." Faith stroked Roseblush Frost onto her left-hand fingernails with precision. Faith's hands never quiver. Mine do, so my nails have a sticky, confused look. When even your fingernails are confused, you know you're in trouble. "Okay," I said. "We each have to select a boy to work on. The selections will be by chance."

Faith shuddered. "If chance gives me Chuckie, or Avery, or Kenny, I'm leaving town."

"Maybe you'll get Angie, though."

Faith started to tell me about how wonderful Angie was, but I knew that as well as she did, so it was a boring conversation. If she went and had a crush on, say, Kenny, who belongs on zoo-cage-cleanup detail, it would be interesting.

Sickening. Humiliating. But interesting.
Caroline B. Cooney

About Caroline B. Cooney

Caroline B. Cooney - The Girl Who Invented Romance

Photo © Jane Feldman

“What more can life hold, than to know that because of your story, somebody out there has decided to read again!”—Caroline B. Cooney

Caroline B. Cooney's books have received several honors, including an IRA–CBC Children's Choice and being named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.


Award-winning author Caroline B. Cooney knows what young adults like to read. In fact, Cooney’s all-time favorite fan letter came from a 12-year-old girl who hated reading. But after being forced to read one of Cooney’s books, the girl admitted it had not been a waste of time and had even been enjoyable. “And so,” wrote the girl, “I have come to an important decision. I am writing to tell you that I have decided to read a second book.”

Caroline Cooney was born in 1947 and grew up in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. This prolific author was always ambitious, and as a youth, loved school and was involved in many different activities. Cooney was also an avid reader and recalls that series books such as The Hardy Boys and Cherry Ames were her favorites. These characters had a big influence on her life, and in fact, she says that “Cherry Ames, Student Nurse was my reason to go to nursing school in Boston later in life.”

Cooney began writing in college. She professes,“I love writing and do not know why it is considered such a difficult, agonizing profession. I love all of it, thinking up the plots, getting to know the kids in the story, their parents, backyards, pizza toppings.”

Cooney is a master of mixing spellbinding suspense with thought-provoking insight into teenagers’ lives. One of her most popular books is The Face on the Milk Carton—the gripping story of a young girl who discovers that the picture of a missing child on a milk carton is actually a picture of herself. After writing this book, Cooney received hundreds of letters from readers who were bothered by the ending. “It wasn’t that they didn’ t like the ending, it was that they wanted some kind of resolution. Some said I should have written another chapter.” However, Cooney says she liked leaving the reader worrying about the character just as they would a real person. But one day, her daughter, Sayre, had an idea for a sequel that was so good, Cooney had to write it. The book that evolved was called Whatever Happened to Janie? Continuing where that novel leaves off, Cooney explores the themes of betrayal and peer pressure in The Voice on the Radio. Concluding the Janie Quartet is What Janie Found, in which Cooney masterfully spins a suspenseful story of family secrets that will have readers captivated until the very last word.

Cooney’s novel Burning Up explores the destructive nature of hatred, the crime of indifference, and the power of accepting love and responsibility.

In The Ransom of Mercy Carter, Cooney looks at an actual historic event that had been virtually unexplored in literature for young people. During a 1704 Indian attack on the Deerfield, Massachusetts, settlement, Mercy Carter is separated from her family and taken to a Kahnawake Indian village in Canada. As she awaits ransom, she discovers that the “savages” have traditions and family life that in time become her own.

Cooney completed her Time Travel Quartet with For All Time. In her novel Goddess of Yesterday, Cooney brings ancient Greece to life through careful research and master storytelling.

Most recently Cooney's Diamonds in the Shadow was named a 2008 ALA/YALSA Quick Pick and was a nominee for the Edgar Allen Poe Awards. Her latest gripping thriller, If the Witness Lied, details how love, devotion, and forgiveness make resilience—and recovery—possible.


Born: May 10 in Geneva, New York
Education: Greenwich, CT schools and various colleges
Residence: Westbrook, CT
Children: Louisa, Sayre (rhymes with fair), Harold
Inspiration for writing: I love a good story. I love to make things up.
Favorite hobbies: I read a lot. I buy books. I'm in a library (I use several) or a bookstore almost every day because I have to be around other people's books, too. I sing in several choirs, or play the piano for them.
Favorite foods: I'm omnivorous.
Favorite books: I read series books: Cherry Ames, Student Nurse, was the reason I went to nursing school. But my favorite series, and the only one I saved, was Magic by the Lake by Edward Eager.



"Cooney's new psychologically penetrating page-turner immediately grabs readers then hangs on tight up to its satisfying conclusion."—Kirkus

"Anchored by a poignant sibling reunion, this family-drama-turned-thriller will have readers racing, heart in throat, to reach the conclusion." —Horn Book


"Crackling language and nailbiting cliffhangers provide an easy way into the novel's big ideas, transforming topics that can often seem distant and abstract into a grippingly immediate reading experience." —Starred, Publishers Weekly

“Characters from the Iliad, the Odyssey, and much of Greek tragedy make appearances in Anaxandra’ s tale, one that is as vivid as her red-gold hair. Teen readers will be mesmerized.”—Starred, Kirkus Reviews

“A compulsively readable story and may well lead readers to other Greek myths.” —Starred, Publishers Weekly

“Readers will respond to the author’s candid view of friendship with its intense bonding, rivalry and sudden, surprising meanness.”—Booklist

"Not only a love story and a time-travel fantasy, but also a provocative and powerful examination of women, marriage, and relationships in two centuries.”—School Library Journal

“Convincingly depicted and . . . compellingly chronicled.”—Starred, The Bulletin

"This thought-provoking story has a powerful message, effortlessly woven into the ordinary trappings of a teenager’s life.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A wrenching, breathlessly paced plot and an adrenaline-charged romance make Cooney’s latest novel nearly impossible to put down.”—Starred, Publishers Weekly

“Poignant.”—Starred, Booklist

“Absorbing and convincing. Strong characterizations and suspenseful, impeccably paced action add to this novel’s appeal.”—Publishers Weekly

“A real page-turner.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Gripping and thought provoking.”—Publishers Weekly

“The power and nature of love is wrenchingly illustrated throughout this provocative novel. . . . The emotions of its characters remain excruciatingly real.”—Starred, Publishers Weekly

“A gripping sequel to The Face on the Milk Carton. . . The gut-wrenching circumstances in which the characters find themselves are honestly conveyed.”—Booklist

“[Cooney] has taken this novel to extraordinary heights.”—Starred, School Library Journal

“Readers of Cooney’s addictive The Face on the Milk Carton and Whatever Happened to Janie? can start licking their chops.”—Starred, Publishers Weekly

  • The Girl Who Invented Romance by Caroline B. Cooney
  • August 29, 2012
  • Juvenile Fiction - Love & Romance
  • Delacorte Books for Young Readers
  • $7.99
  • 9780307818850

Your E-Mail Address
send me a copy

Recipient's E-Mail Address
(multiple addresses may be separated by commas)

A personal message: