Mlynowski, Sarah. Gimme a Call.
Devi has broken up with her boyfriend of three years on the eve of their senior prom, and is devastated. Why did she waste so much time on him? Her girl friends have all gone their separate ways, she hasn't done a great job in school, and with Bryan gone, she feels bereft. When she drops her cell phone in a mall fountain, in front a store advertising a skin cream that will "turn back the clock", she finds that the only number it will call is her own... at the beginning of her freshman year! Realizing that she now has the power to change her life, Devi gives her 14-year-old self instructions on what to do to avoid ending up like senior Devi. Study more-- congratulation letters change from a local university to Hofstra to Harvard! Encourage a friend to do gymnastics, and she develops anorexia. When the same friend is encouraged to do cheerleading, she gets plastic surgery! Some of the changes are profound-- a shy friend who is encouraged to try out for a play blossoms-- and some are silly-- after winning the lottery so she can afford Harvard, Devi finds that her father has run off to France and her mother is married to hot young guy! The changes are fast and furious. Younger Devi struggles to keep up with all of the studying and activities that the older one suggests, all the while pining after Bryan. Older Devi starts to realize that there is no good way to arrange the future that doesn't have some disastrous consequence. The feel-good ending puts all of the elements together in a way that students will like; I would have prefered Devi's life to be just the same even with all of her machinations, but that's only because I'm old and bitter.
This will probably be my favorite book all summer, and I'm tempted to buy it to give to Picky Reader when she starts high school! I love the idea of time travel, and think it would be scary but wonderful to be able to go back to 1979 (knowing what I know now, of course), and change my life. Two things I would do-- start running cross country, so I could be on the very first girls' team at my high school, and NOT TAKE LATIN!!!
What would you encourage your freshman self to do, if you could go back?