A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
This unique story will make teens think about tolerance and love -- and the challenges that exist for gay people and those who support them. Readers who like this book may read the sequel, Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape).
Will make teens think about tolerance and love -- and the challenges that exist for gay people and those who support them.
Positive Role Models
Carrie is thoughtful and honest about her confused feelings. She is never cruel to her ex-boyfriend, even though he has changed everything for her.
Violence & Scariness
Two boys fight. Belle is attacked in the school hallway by a bully.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Belle and her boyfriend have had sex. Other characters kiss and fool around.
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Lots of derogatory words for gay people, and other words such as "bitch" and "f--k."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book centers on a teen girl whose boyfriend tells her he's gay. She recalls having sex with him and eventually kisses a new guy; her ex-boyfriend goes on to have a relationship with another boy. There is swearing, including derogatory terms for gay people. And there is a disturbing scene where Belle is attacked by a male bully at her school. Belle is an honest character and her unique story will make teens think about tolerance and love -- and the challenges that exist for gay people and those who support them.
Is It Any Good?
The writer definitely has talent. She describes the cold Maine setting beautifully, using the icy, barren backdrop to emphasize the loneliness Belle feels after losing her boyfriend. She also shares wonderful details -- such as Belle and Dylan's trips to a small cemetery, where they imagine the lives of those buried there -- which give her characters some depth.
The problem is that she tries to pack too much into this novel: a gay boyfriend, their intolerant small town, his new relationship, her new relationship, a bully who begins targeting Belle -- and, oh yeah, there's also Belle's epilepsy. Hopefully, this author will continue to write, sharpening her storytelling skills to match her talent for detail.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.