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Mates, Dates, and Pulling Power

By: Cathy Hopkins
Narrated by: Nicky Talacko
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Editor reviews

Cathy Hopkins’ popular Mates and Dates YA series tracks the up and downs of four teenaged women. In this installment, one of those girls, Nesta, develops a crisis of confidence after she gets braces put on her teeth.

Featuring a youthful, engaging performance by Nicky Talacko, Mates, Dates, and Pulling Power follows Nesta, who’s always been sure of her beauty, as she meets a handsome young actor named Luke. Worried about her attractiveness ("pulling power"), she needs help from her "mates"; Lucy, Izzie, and T. J.; to regain her groove.

Hopkins’ novel is full of pathos and painfully accurate observations, and Talacko delivers her prose with an age-appropriate mix of cockiness and vulnerability.


Nesta is devastated. She has to wear braces. She thinks that no boy will ever look at her again without thinking of the killer shark in Jaws. And practicing a smile that doesn't show her teeth isn't helping. There's only one option: to become a recluse. Lucy, Izzie, and T. J. try to help Nesta understand that her looks haven't changed, but Nesta's not convinced. Things change, however, when she meets Luke, who not only restores her confidence in her ability to attract boys, but also introduces her to a whole new side of her personality.
©2003 Cathy Hopkins (P)2007 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

Critic reviews

"Readers will enjoy the relationships among Nesta and her friends and will eagerly wait to see if things work out between her and Luke. Although part of a series, the book easily stands alone." ( School Library Journal)

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