From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up-Angry at his mother for deserting him, hunky Gabe treats the many girls he meets with a "love them and leave them" attitude. He and his buddies function as a well-oiled machine when it comes to throwing parties, hiding the dysfunction in their families and their personalities behind a smooth facade. Helen, who was born with a disfigured face, hopes to become a plastic surgeon someday. After a one-night stand with Gabe, her world is shattered when she finds that she is pregnant. Written in verse, the book details each small failure and success along the journey toward Gabe and Helen feeling comfortable in the world again. The book takes a sensitive and thoughtful look at a number of other characters as well, each of whom has been betrayed in some way and is dealing, or refusing to deal, with the grief of the situation. Teen readers will love this story and will appreciate its hopeful ending.Catherine Ensley, Latah County Free Library District, Moscow, ID
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Gr. 9-12. Wild returns to the novel-in-verse form that she used in Jinx
(2002) in this story about teen pregnancy. Spare, lyrical poems that shift between first-person and third-person perspectives introduce a group of party-throwing boys--Gabe, Al, and Bram. Helen is the girl who falls for Gabe, and when she discovers her pregnancy after their one-night stand, the story shifts to her crisis. Deciding against abortion, she is rejected by her family, and Gabe, who won't take her calls, isn't even aware of the baby. She finds a job and a rooming house owned by elderly Mrs. Evans, who helps care for the baby when he arrives. As Helen tries to knit together Mrs. Evans' broken relationships, she begins to repair her own. The large cast results in some superficial characters and motives, but Wild's poetry has moments of exceptional beauty, and the best scenes, though briefly glimpsed, shimmer with startling, intense feeling. For another view of teen parenthood suggest Angela Johnson's The First Part Last
[BKL S 1 2003]. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved