From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up—Through a series of "he" and "she" poems, Holbrook and Wolf detail the range of emotions when a childhood friendship become a teenage romance. The relationship goes from shy uncertainty to blissful togetherness, dark rejection, and, finally, a return to friendship. Most of the poems are complementary and conversational, such as the excellent opening selections: "What to Do When She Looks at You?" and "What to Do When He Looks at You?" These deliciously readable poems, accessible and compact, bring to light recognizable feelings and use a variety of forms, including sonnets, free verse, luc bat, villanelle, tanka, and terza rima. An appendix briefly explains each form and refers to famous poems written in these styles. The book's appeal is limited somewhat by an unattractive cover and grainy black-and-white photos and graphic artwork, but teachers and readers alike will savor this innovative approach to an ever-popular topic.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
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In these parallel poems, a boy and a girl describe their progression from friendship to romance. First they are buddies, then they flirt, and the two speakers talk about their attraction, joy, denial, loneliness, and confusion in poems that appear side-by-side on the page. The simple language expresses strong feelings in a variety of poetic forms, including sonnet, villanelle, free verse, and tanka (the forms are explained in notes at the back). The boy and girl kiss and dream on their magic journey together, and there are surprises. They love each other, but they miss their friends, and they grow apart and become stressed, angry, depressed, and lonely. The climax is their angry argument, great for reading aloud. Then, of course, they reflect and apologize. Small black-and-white photos never get in the way of the words, which tell the edgy truth of romance in all its joy and confusion: “It isn’t you; it’s US I sometimes hate.” Grades 6-9. --Hazel Rochman