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Hung Up Hardcover – March 4, 2014
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
Lucy, in East Montpelier, Vermont, dials a number more than once, leaving increasingly angry messages about the lack of return calls acknowledging an order she had placed. James, almost an hour away in Burlington, finally answers, explaining he’s not the business she was trying to reach. A conversation ensues, and the two 16-year-olds gradually become phone friends. Their cautious yet witty exchanges slowly include analytical and enlightening dialogue. Homework help often segues to love-life advice, but when James asks Lucy to a dance at his high school, she panics. Underneath the playful, comedic banter, they both are keeping something personally painful close to their chests, but little by little, their truths surface, revealing how lives cross paths that are closer than imagined. This story, told solely through voice mails and phone conversations, offers interesting impressions that rest solely on words unaccompanied by actions. Hung Up intriguingly looks at building, losing, and rebuilding trust while learning to respect personal boundaries. Grades 8-11. --Jeanne Fredriksen
About the Author
Kristen Tracy is the author of Lost It, Crimes of the Sarahs, and Hung Up. She has received three Pushcart nominations and her poems and stories have appeared in various journals and reviews. She is the coeditor of A Chorus for Peace: A Global Anthology of Poetry by Women. Kristen lives in Rhode Island.
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This book sounded so cute to me. I wanted to read it right away. I have read other books like this, usually they live a lot further away, but I found out fast they live just a little bit apart. So I was in this why don't you guys just go ahead and meet, you are so close.
The characters annoyed me. One minute James is saying he will be there for her no matter what, but when she says she isn't ready to tell him certain things yet, he gets all pissed off and hangs up on her. Then if she says anything about another guy, he gets all jealous and threatens to hang up again. He seemed to always be angry. He also says he likes Lucy, but still talks about how he thinks he is still in love with his ex. I am like okay, that is definitely romantic....not.
The Lucy is clammed up most of the time, but she expects him to spill information about himself. She interrupts him quite a bit and then gets mad at him for a lot of things too. I felt like the whole book was mainly them arguing. I didn't feel like the personalities meshed at all, yet somehow they were saying that they liked each other.
This book makes them take months to finally decide to meet. They have one time where they go to meet but something happens where they end up not being able to. This pisses Lucy off and she spends the next half of the book saying she isn't ready to meet now. If I was James and I had the address to her house, I would have just drove over anyway so I could meet the girl that I was supposively falling in love with.
I did however enjoy the book, it wasn't so horrible. It was written in a text/email style way where you get the dates and the times of the phone calls. Then you end up seeing Lucy or James to show when they switch who is talking. There are no chapters in this book, so I would leave off on a page that starts a new phone call.
I would have given this book a 4 out of 5 stars even with all the fighting because it was still cute. It was nice to see the characters try to get to know each other even when they both have their own weird qualities. They both had something hard to hide yet they didn't know they both knew what the other was hiding until the end. I gave this book a 3 instead of a 4 because of the ending. You don't get to really find out how their first meet went because once the phone hung up, the book ended. James really wants to know what Lucy looks like and you don't get to find out how he feels. I was hoping they would end up meeting and then talk on the phone about it later and then end it. The whole book is leading up to them meeting and then you don't even get the closure on it. It annoyed me.
This is still a cute summer read that you can easily read in just one sitting. You end up flying through the pages because of the way it is formatted. I didn't expect the format it was in, but it made it to where you just couldn't stop. Even with all the fighting and annoyance between the characters you still find yourself turning the pages in suspense of what was going to happen next.
At first, I thought the book was going to sink in DNF territory. Literally all we’re given in the text are the times and dates of each conversation and what Lucy and James say. There are no descriptions, no background, no setting. I found myself struggling apart from the verbs, adjectives, and adverbs that narrators normally provide. Where was the tone and inflection? What expressions were they making? What did they look like as they spoke? I didn’t even know what Lucy’s bedroom looked like. For the first time ever, I found myself yearning for an audiobook over a physical copy.
However, the more I read, the more I found my groove. James and Lucy are such teenagers. They’re quippy and sarcastic, very emotional in their own ways, and vacillate wildly between spontaneity and guardedness. They start leaning on each other crazy-fast, calling each other before and after classes and late at night. The old lady in me was clutching her pearls and hissing about stranger danger, but I thought their rapidly formed attachment was realistic for their age. They both needed someone to talk to and confide in, a safe stranger.
Hung Up is pretty upfront about the edited nature of the exchanges. We don’t have to suffer through the fluff that usually cushions each side of a phone call. “Hi. Hi. How are you? Good. You? Fine. How was your day?” etc. It cuts straight to the heart of each conversation, giving us valuable glimpses into their personalities, fears, desires, and histories. I found myself grinning and even laughing out loud at several points. Both James and Lucy are clever and just weird enough to get away with some pretty oddball jokes.
There are some frustrating moments, especially from Lucy, so be aware ahead of time that you’ll want to shake her and James. Both of them have a tendency to retreat, panic, or push too hard. They’re teenagers, and both are dealing with some pretty weighty secrets. Though some of their actions irritated me in the moment, I understood why they did what they did once everything was revealed. (Not that that made those actions any less annoying, but still.)
I started and finished Hung Up in the space of an afternoon. It’s a quick, fun read that works as the perfect beach or airport read, a great palate cleanser. But I still want that audiobook.
Points Added For: The humor, how quick it is, the twist (one of them, anyways), the anti-alcohol message
Points Subtracted For: THAT COVER BURN ITTTTTT. (Seriously, I’m so mad. I DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE.) A rough beginning.
Good For Fans Of: Quick, witty dialogue. Contemporary romance. Long distance relationships.
Notes For Parents: Language, underage drinking, attempted suicide, [SPOILER]kidnapping[/SPOILER].
Note: I received a digital copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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