Flashback to young romance

Not Exactly
a Love Story
By Audrey
Couloumbis
Random House
Children’s Books
$17.99
Hardcover
$10.99 eBook
Publisher’s Summary:
It's 1977.

Fifteen-year old Vinnie isn't having a good year. He's recovering from the
worst case of galloping acne his dermatologist's ever seen. His girl moved to
California without even saying good-bye. And the ink on his parent’s divorce
papers is barely dry, when his mom announces that they're moving from Queens to
Long Island.

The silver lining in all this is that they move next door to Patsy—everyone's
dream girl. Not that she'd ever notice him. But when Vinnie calls Patsy one
night, it leads to a chain of anonymous midnight conversations. Under the cover
of darkness, Vinnie becomes Vincenzo, Patsy's mystery caller, and the two share
a side of themselves they would never reveal in daylight and develop a
surprisingly real connection (despite the lies it's built on). As Vinnie gets
to know Patsy in real life though, it becomes clear both identifies can't
survive and he'll have to find a way to hang-up the phone and step into the
daylight. Fraught with complications and crackling with witty dialogue, and all
the angst and electricity that comes with always being just a phone wire away
from the one you want, it's not exactly a love story . . . but it's pretty
close.

 
My Review:
I thought this book was especially charming and cute. Told
in the very real voice of 15-year-old, parents recently divorced, just moved to
a new neighborhood, Vinnie, Love Story is witty, quick, and fun. Back before
cell phones and computers, if a boy liked a girl, he had to steal her number
and call her from the safety of his dark bedroom, anonymously. Not really, but
it adds to this story.
This is Couloumbis’ debut novel for young adults, and I must
say, it is a grand success. A quick voice, plenty of smashing dialogue, a charming
ending, and some surprisingly profound moments--like the one below--make up
this pretty pleasing package.
 
“No one tells you how
things really are. Everything coming in waves, one rolling in after the other,
and in case you’re thinking that doesn’t sound so bad, keep this in mind:
that’s how huge rocks, boulders, become sand on the beach.” (pg 14, ebook)
 
Rating:
I really liked it. It’s deep enough to keep older readers
interested and challenging and clean enough for your younger YA reader. I’d
rate it a PG (content wise). There are a couple of mild fight scenes and some
language.