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I Think I Love You: A Novel Paperback – September 6, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Pearson (I Don't Know How She Does It) dips into Nick Hornby country in her slick latest. In 1974 Wales, 13-year-old Petra is in love with David Cassidy, an obsession she shares with her best friend, Sharon. When they hear that Cassidy is playing a concert in London, the girls sneak away to see him, bringing Petra into brief contact with Bill, who writes for The Essential David Cassidy Magazine. Nearly 25 years later, Petra is separated and seeing how she had sacrificed her ambitions for her husband's when, after her mother's funeral, she discovers a letter her mother had intercepted years before. The letter was informing Petra she had won the Ultimate David Cassidy Quiz, and her prize was a trip to meet the star in California. A magazine picks up the story of Petra's missed opportunity, and suddenly Petra and Sharon, along with Bill, who now works for this magazine, are headed to Las Vegas for a belated meeting. Petra has a piercing wit and a boundless charm, but it's Pearson's insights into friendship, celebrity worship from the inside out, and the knocks you take in life that create a winning novel of hope, lost and found. (Feb.) (c)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

During the 1970s, Welsh teenager Petra and her best friend, Sharon, are wild for pop singer David Cassidy, along with millions of other fans the world over. They spend huge chunks of their leisure time perusing The Essential David Cassidy Magazine for clues to David’s likes and dislikes, unaware that most of the material is being created out of whole cloth by ne’er-do-well English major William Finn, whose take on the cherubic singer is a good deal more acerbic than theirs. The novel’s second half finds the characters 25 years later as Petra is grieving the death of her mother and the end of her marriage, while Bill is now running an empire of celebrity magazines though still unlucky in love. A lost letter brings them together for a David Cassidy reunion concert, which proves to be a turning point in both of their lives. Pearson is at her best in capturing the way teenage girls use their romantic obsessions with celebrities to work out their fears about real relationships with the opposite sex. An afterword includes Pearson’s delightful 2004 interview with a 54-year-old Cassidy. --Joanne Wilkinson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor Books; 1st edition (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400076919
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400076918
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #887,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By SW TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A frothy yet thoughtful read that perfectly nails what it feels like for a girl to be at that terrifyingly innocent, yet utterly mature, age of 13.

Though I, personally, never got the whole heartthrob thing--sorry, Kirk Cameron, I only put up the poster to fit in--Allison Pearson embodies all the angst and excitement of that very unique time in any girl's life.

Caught up in the 1970s David Cassidy craze, and centering around his infamous White City concert (OK, I wasn't born yet, but I've seen the "Behind the Music"), it's the story of a British group of girls from Wales, but it could be a tale of any pre-teen peer group, fraught with intrigue and more social maneuvering and potential protocol land mines than a U.N. security meeting. The rampant desire to fit in and be noticed, but not to stand out (heaven forbid). The longing for boys, but the complete and utter fear of actually speaking to a live one. ... It's a pitch perfect portrait of female dynamics and coming of age.

And, in part two, Pearson explores another era of transition, middle age, complicated by love, loss, divorce and motherhood. All of which is a perfect counterpoint to the now quaint-seeming, but at the time life-altering, drama of the teen years. And how you never quite get over your first real crush. There's also a sweet David Cassidy-related romance brewing (set up in part one, it comes to fruition in adult Petra's story).

Allison Pearson nails with unerring veracity all the emotions of both a 13-year-old and 30-something woman and, as a fan herself, has her Cassidy lore down cold. (Pearson even includes a transcript of her 2005 interview with the real Cassidy, which inspired the novel, at the end of book.)

Inside of every woman, that 13-year-old girl still exists. And this way-past-pubescent mom loved every minute of "I Think I Love You."
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By drebbles VINE VOICE on January 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the early 1970's, Petra Williams, like so many other young teenage girls, was madly in love with David Cassidy. She and her friends bought magazines dedicated to him, covered their bedroom walls with posters of him, watched "The Partridge Family", listened to his records over and over again, and did anything they could to attend his concerts. But her love for David Cassidy was just one part of Petra's life as she dealt with a cold mother and navigated the tricky road of friendships and boys. Years later Petra is still dealing with the harsh realities of life when she has a chance to finally meet David Cassidy. Little does she realize this long-delayed meeting will forever change her life.

While any woman who had a crush on David Cassidy will relate to and love "I think I Love You" anyone who has ever been in love, whether with a Hollywood star or someone not famous, will enjoy the book. Author Allison Pearson divides the novel into two parts - Petra as a young girl and Petra as an adult still trying to find herself. Pearson does an excellent job with Petra's character in both sections, skillfully writing from the perspectives of both a young and older Petra. As a huge David Cassidy fan when I was a child, I loved reliving the memories of a time when I worshipped him. Pearson does a good job of weaving in actual facts about Cassidy's career with the fictional events in Petra's life. I couldn't help but wince at times as Petra navigated the tricky minefield of adolescent female relationships (there was probably a Gillian in everyone's life) and dealt with her less than loving mother. Along with Petra's story there is the story of Bill Finn, who early in his career worked for the "Essential David Cassidy Magazine".
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amy Tiemann VINE VOICE on February 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Three and a half stars, but since I have to go with full stars I will stick with three. I am a fan of Allison Pearson's and I'll even admit to being a former David Cassidy fan. I am about seven years younger than the characters in this book, and I'd like to think I had a nostalgic distance and ironic appreciation of the 1970's. But maybe that's what all 70's fans think now! I did see Cassidy perform a concert in San Francisco around 1993, close to the later scenes in this novel. He was charming but surely an unworthy recipient of so much affection--but as Pearson observes so well, Cassidy was receiving projected adoration that had little to nothing to do with him as an actual person.

I was charmed by "I Think I Love You" and I enjoyed it overall. Pearson totally captures Petra's insane teenage fetish for David Cassidy, as well as the dynamics of her friendships and rivalries very well. I also enjoyed reading about 1974 Bill as the true author of personal letters to fans in "The Essential David Cassidy Magazine." Her characters are definitely the strongest point of the book.

The first half of the book is quite long, and reads like a young adult novel in many ways. Will adult readers be so engaged that they'll really appreciate this alternately nostalgic and realistic look back? The second half of the book set in in 1998 follows the adult Petra and (older) Bill. It found the second half slightly underwritten. There is a makeover scene where the results are not even described, and the actual final meeting with David Cassidy was disappointing--the transcript of Pearson's actual interview with Cassidy was much more interesting.
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