Boyfriends are supposed to be loyal, caring, and handsome. Giovanna?s boyfriend, Jesse, has perfected the last two. But when her twin brother, Dante, runs for student body president, Jesse doesn?t support Dante, choosing to campaign for his opponent instead. Shouldn?t the fact that Jesse is Giovanna?s boyfriend count for something? So Giovanna dumps Jesse and becomes Dante?s campaign manager. But as the political debates heat up, Giovanna begins to regret breaking up with Jesse, and realizes that maybe her decision wasn?t the political strategy she should have used?.
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Janette Rallison is the author of the bestselling All’s Fair in Love, War and High School and a number of popular romantic comedies. She lives in Chandler, Arizona.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Table of Contents
I Want Him Back ...
I put my hand to my forehead. My head suddenly hurt. “He told people about our date?”
“Giovanna, you let the guy know you’d been arrested for stealing dead frogs and then crawled underneath a pool table. You didn’t think he’d tell people about it?”
I gulped and felt my face flush. “If he was a gentleman, he wouldn’t have told—Jesse wouldn’t have.”
“Well, you broke up with Jesse.”
Her statement hit me hard. I’d broken up with Jesse, and yet I suddenly realized that despite everything, I wanted him back. Forget loyalty. Forget this stupid election. I just wanted my boyfriend back.
Daphne reached over and momentarily put her hand over mine to get my attention. “It will all be fine. You just need some prep work for your next date. You know, a game plan of what to say and how to act.” She let out a sigh, but not one of resignation. This was the breath you let out before you tackled something huge. “I’ve gone about this matchmaker business all wrong. I’ve tried to set you up with guys I thought would be good for you. But I never found out what you’re looking for. So let’s start with that. We want to find someone who is absolutely compatible. So you tell me, what do you want in a guy?”
“Jesse,” I said.
“You want a guy like Jesse?”
“No, I want him. I want Jesse back.”
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First published in the United States of America by G. P. Putnam’s Sons,
a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2007
Published by Speak, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2009
All rights reserved
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HAS CATALOGED THE G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS EDITION AS FOLLOWS:
Rallison, Janette, 1966-
How to take the ex out of ex-boyfriend / Janette Rallison.
Summary: Giovanna rashly breaks up with her boyfriend Jesse when he refuses to help
her twin brother with his campaign for Student Council president, but fixing her
mistake may be more difficult for her than she realizes.
eISBN : 978-1-101-01985-6
To James and Faith—my wonderful twins—
and also to my other magnificent children,
Arianna, Luke, and Asenath.
To the real Dante and Giovanna Petrizzo,
you all have such cool names.
To my ever-patient and thorough editor, Tim.
Okay, so while I was working on your revision comments I
compared you to the Greek Furies and told several people you
were possessed by evil demons. I still followed most of your
suggestions. You’re great. Thanks for making the book better.
Special thanks to Brandon Hart, Brian Lamb, and Angela Morales
from the Austin, Texas, police youth service department for guiding me through the
intricate legal world of frog theft.
Thanks to all my writing friends who read and critiqued parts
of the story. You guys are not only talented but helpful.
Lastly, thanks to Asenath’s friend Westin, who came over
on short notice so I could drag him around in a cowboy hat to pose
as Jesse. Keep the hat handy, Westin, it works for you.
I bet you Cinderella didn’t get along with Prince Charming’s friends. Oh sure, the knights and barons probably put up with her on account that she was pretty and had such dainty feet and all, but you know every duchess and countess in the kingdom hated her guts. That’s how women are when someone encroaches on their turf.
And that’s why all the girls at Jesse’s birthday party ignored me. While he mingled with the guests to make sure everyone had enough food, I sat next to a group of cheerleaders who talked around me like I was a piece of furniture.
I don’t know why I expected any different. They’d acted this way since I started dating Jesse two months ago, giving me subtle and not so subtle messages that just because I was going out with a guy from the popular clique didn’t mean I fit in with them.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if I’d been sitting with Dante, and then I’d at least be able to talk with him, but he stood across the room, his black leather jacket barely visible in the crowd of letterman jackets. He and a bunch of guys from the basketball team were no doubt talking sports, and other male languages I didn’t understand. Besides, I ought to be able to make it through a party without depending on my twin brother as a conversational crutch.
Next to me on the couch, Bridget and Stacey—the current reigning rodeo princess and her peroxide blond sidekick—discussed their prom dresses. They hadn’t said a word to me all night except for when I sat down and Stacey said, “Oh, hi, Giovanna.” She said my name like it had about seven syllables. No matter how many times I’ve told her it’s pronounced “Geo-vonna,” she always finds a way to butcher it. If I correct her, she laughs and says, “Sorry, I don’t speak Italian.”
Yeah, neither do I, but somehow I manage to pronounce my name without making it sound like it rhymes with “banana.” I won’t even mention how people say my last name, Petrizzo, except to point out it has stumped many a substitute teacher during roll call.
Dante says I should take advantage of my Italian heritage and pretend to be a non-English speaking immigrant whenever we have a sub, but that’s just Dante. He’s never taken school seriously.
Bridget took a sip of her drink and leaned toward Stacey. “I brought home this gorgeous blue silk dress with a sequin bodice. It totally matched the color of my eyes, but my mom freaked out because it was so low cut. She insisted on taking it back and going with me to pick out another one. I chose the most expensive one in the store to make her mad.”
Stacey let out a sigh. “I wish I’d thought of that. I had to beg my mom before she let me spend over three hundred. And I still haven’t found a pair of shoes.”
I shrugged. “I haven’t even looked at prom dresses yet.”
Bridget’s gaze turned to me for the first time. Her eyebrow lifted. “Why not? Hasn’t Jesse asked you?” She gave me a self-satisfied smile. “Maybe he’s going to ask someone else then.”
I gripped the drink in my hand harder than I needed to. “I’m sure he just hasn’t gotten around to it.”
Bridget let off a giggle as she rolled her eyes. “You don’t need to be so touchy. I was just kidding.”
Stacey fingered the straw in her glass. “Of course he’ll ask you—that is, unless he finds something better along the side of the road.” And then they both laughed, so if I got mad they could claim they were just joking around again.
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