Cathy Hopkins introduces tomboy T. J. in the fourth book of her Mates, Dates series. T. J.'s best friend has left London, leaving her all alone in a new school. It doesn't help that she's running for editor of the school newspaper, up against a prototypical Mean Girl. But Lucy and her group of friends soon befriend her and give her a makeover, which will hopefully help her get attention from the boy she's crushing on. It's a fizzy tale that Shirley Barthelmie performs with a buoyant energy, chatty and chirpy in a way that perfectly captures the cadence of teenagers.
Theresa Joanne (TJ to her mates) is having a difficult year. First her best friend moves away then classmate Wendy appears to have it in for her. Plus there's the problem with boys. They treat her like a mate and never seem to notice that she's a girl. When Lucy befriends TJ, things start to look up. But will Nesta and Izzie also accept her? Will they let her into the world of sleepovers, secrets, laughter and advice? Can they help TJ be herself and discover her real potential?