M or F? by Lisa Papademetriou and Chris Tebbetts defies the format of most typical high school romance stories. Like many, it combines a story of friendship with a story of romance. Frannie falls for an attractive guy that her best friend Marcus actually approves of. His name is Jeffrey Osborne and he's all too perfect: popular, smart, gorgeous, and sincere. Frannie even has the opportunity to speak to him online. Here's the twist, though: Frannie gets too queasy to talk to him by herself. So instead, her gay best friend does the talking for her. Eventually, while things are getting hot, Marcus gets out of control and starts chatting with Jeffrey without Frannie knowing. This tests Frannie and Marcus's friendship, and makes both of them struggle to learn which is stronger: friendship or love?
It was a pleasure to read M or F? and I recently recommended it to friends of mine who are members of our school's GSA. Not being able relate to Frannie's struggle of deciding whether Jeffrey is falling for her or for her "brain twin," Marcus, shouldn't stop you from reading the book. No one I know escapes fights with friends over what type of relationship is most important. Organized into chapters from both Frannie and Marcus's perspectives, it is easy and enjoyable to hear both sides of the story for once. As your eyes latch onto the neon-colored cover, your natural paranoia and compassion will latch onto Frannie's mind in this realistic high school setting.