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My Darling, My Hamburger

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  2,582 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
Four friends,
Two couples,
One year that will change their lives.

Liz and Sean, both beautiful and popular, are madly in love and completely misunderstood by their parents. Their best friends, Maggie and Dennis, are shy and awkward, but willing to take the first tentative steps toward a romance of their own. Yet before either couple can enjoy true happiness, life conspires a
Paperback, 176 pages
Published March 29th 2005 by HarperTeen
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 14, 2008 Julia added it
Oh, this booked soothed my adolescent soul! I just love Paul Zindel...all of his books are so quirky and warmhearted. Can I get an Amen?
Jan 12, 2016 Majenta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Liz assuring boyfriend Sean of her homemaking skills: "I can cook and wash clothes."
Jun 24, 2011 Josiah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know if any author has ever more poignantly or perceptively captured the essence of what it means to be a teenager than Paul Zindel has done in My Darling, My Hamburger. The specific crisis situation that this book revolves around perfectly recreates the atmosphere that many teenagers nearing graduation from high school face in their own personal ways, the feeling that all of the sudden their life has started to move a little bit too quickly after seeming to have traveled at a snail's c ...more
Kori Looker
Sep 11, 2013 Kori Looker rated it really liked it
I enjoyed "My Darling, My Hamburger" by Paul Zindel, because I could relate to the characters. All of the characters are teenagers or very young adults. In this book, Liz is an average girl who falls for an average boy, Sean. The two have many problems in common, leading to their love for eachother. They take their romance too far, and Liz becomes pregnant. Liz's friend, Maggie, is there for her with whatever decision she makes. Sean and Liz talked about moving away, having the baby, and getting ...more
Somehow I missed this book when I was growing up, and I don't really know how frankly.

This is the story of two best friends, seniors in high school, Liz and Maggie. Liz is glamorous and beautiful and has a boyfriend, Sean. Maggie isn't as pulled together, is a little more bookish and reserved. Liz sets her up with Dennis, a friend of Sean's. As Maggie starts feeling a little more confident and her relationship with Dennis gets off the ground, Liz starts to spiral out of control. Her bad home li
Jun 24, 2008 caitlin rated it liked it
In preparation for the course on Young Adult library users I am taking this summer, I started reading Jezebel's "Fine Lines" column, and this book was featured at one point. I've never read Zindel, despite a hefty appetite for this kind of junk.

This book could not be written today. Zindel writes so expertly about the ambivalence that kids feel - towards relationships, towards themselves - and a confusion that is so real. I hope more YA authors today will be inspired by Zindel, and write more hon
Apr 13, 2011 Rose rated it it was ok
I read this when I was a kid & would have given it 4 stars then. I liked it much more then but I still think the same things about the characters now as I did then. Liz is an idiot, her boyfriend's a jerk, Maggie needs to get it together & know her worth, & the guy she goes on a date with was ok. Reading this a s a kid I was alot more sympathetic to Liz going through the whole abortion ordeal. Reading this now I'm impressed & surprised that Paul Zindel wrote a book that dealt wit ...more
Jul 04, 2015 StitchingDeb rated it liked it
Recommends it for: YA readers
Really liked it when I read it back in the seventies at the appropriate age to be able to really identify with the characters and their issues. It's a good "coming-of-age" book and I think it has a timelessness about it that will lend it to modern day YA must-reads.
Apr 02, 2013 Chelsea rated it did not like it
I must be an idiot or something because I did not find this book charming like everyone else. Yes there was teen angst that we can all relate to but it all revolved around sex. The entire story does.

I could not relate to any of the characters or feel compassion for any of them. They started out flat and ended flat. The book takes over the course of a school year, but there were no changes in them.

Then ending was awkward and left a lot of unanswered questions. While I realize that life may not
This is the book I was so excited to review. I had so many thoughts when reading it and when I finished I just could not wait to get them down. Essentially, My Darling, My Hamburger is a book about first love, but it is more than that, rather it is a book on how teens deal with sexuality. Two couples are featured, Maggie and Dennis -- testing relationship waters for the first time, and Liz and Sean who engaged in sex.
Read the rest of my review here
Jun 03, 2015 Liz rated it it was amazing
I found a copy online, because all I remembered from my youth was the title, and I wanted to read or re-read it after all these years. It's very well-written, painfully true to life, and in the end, rather devastating.
Jenna Foster
Jan 25, 2017 Jenna Foster rated it liked it
I was talking to my aunt and she said she had to read this in jr. high lol. Talk about trying to scare kids out of sex.
Paula Martin
This was terrible. I loved it.
Wendy Luvert
Feb 14, 2010 Wendy Luvert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: once-upon-a-time
Favorite book from high school. Led Paul Zindel to be my favorite YA author.
May 08, 2010 Esther rated it really liked it
This book seems unoriginal now but it was a revelation to me as a pre-teen
Oh man, this one had me at hello. I loved it and have read it so many times.
Stace Leza
Jun 17, 2011 Stace Leza rated it it was amazing
great story about the complexities of love and relationships in the teenage years
Judie Kuang
Mar 02, 2012 Judie Kuang rated it it was ok
Once in a while, we all feel like no one understands us, whether it’s the problems we face or the way we feel. However in the book My Darling, My Hamburger, Maggie and Liz, two teenage girls in high school, feel hopeless and alone when their whole world gets turned upside down. Feelings of betrayal, love and happiness falls upon both of them. Their life was never perfect, but when an unexpected event happens, their world seems to fall apart and they lose everything that ever mattered to them. In ...more
Mar 02, 2009 Sydney rated it liked it
If your wondering, this book has nothing to do with hamburgers. However the hamburger in My Darling my Hamburger by Paul Zindel acts as a simile to the common theme of love seen in the story. Have you ever noticed how some toppings on hamburgers just seem to go better together, and that some people have different opinions about the toppings that go on their burgers. This is how love is described in this book, as Dennis and Maggie and Sean and Liz, teenage adolescents experience love, their fami ...more
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
Oct 01, 2013 Cindy Dyson Eitelman rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013-14
Lizzie Skurnick puts this in the "Him She Loved" category but I would have been inclined to put it in the "Very Afterschool Specials."   Not that I've ever seen an afterschool special.

In any event, the book is impossible to classify.  It's about teenage love and parental disappointment, and it stars Paul Zindel's usual cast of characters--a smart boy with a father who doesn't seem to know or care anything about being a father.  A pretty girl with a wimpy mother and a borderline-abusive stepfathe
Feb 04, 2010 Catherine rated it liked it
Shelves: children-ya, fiction, b-ed
Here is the entirety of my review after my first read: "This was a book full of characters I didn't like." I had given it 1 star.

Reviewing it again to write an essay, I found the book held up to close scrutiny extraordinarily well, particularly when compared to the other books I was working with (Twilight, Uglies and The Outsiders). I think my initial reaction occurred because the characters in the book are very true to life. My high school experience was quite unlike the one depicted in the boo
Jun 03, 2012 Savannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
I'm not sure where I picked this book up from but my copy is really old and beat up and was printed in 1971. The book was originally written in the late 1960's and covers topics ranging from love, the stress of parents, sex, abortion, and life choices all while following 4 teenagers Sean and Liz, and Dennis and Maggie as they complete their senior year in high school. The topics covered in this 43 year old book still plague teens and adults today and even while delving into these topics the book ...more
Emma G
Mar 05, 2011 Emma G rated it it was ok
Love Bermuda Triangle
"What did your teacher say? I mean, for getting a guy who wants to go all the way off your case?" asks Liz. "Well, she said suggesting to go buy a hamburger."I replyed. Have you ever experienced true love? Have you ever had your heart broken to the point of no return? Liz and Maggie, Dennis and Sean. Two pairs of friends in a year they'll never forget- full of romance, betrayal, and hamburgers.
Liz really likes Sean. Sean's friend Dennis wants to go out with Maggie. They e
Sep 14, 2008 Jess rated it liked it
Recommended to Jess by: Jezebel's Fine LInes
Shelves: ya, z_08
Senior year, high school, relationships. Liz and Sean have what might be true love. Their best friends, Maggie and Dennis, have a blind first date.

I've been thinking about this book for the past few days and I can't decide it it's an excellent look at the Good Girl and Bad Girl friendships or if it's nothing more than a moral tale of what happens when teens have sex.

Truth is: Maggie and Liz aren't really friends. Maggie does what Liz asks--even when it goes against what she wants--in the hopes o
#27: A book you can finish in a day.

I bought this book at a used book sale several years ago. I bought it pretty much solely because of the title. What, I wondered, could this possibly be about? Well, I will tell you. It is about four teenagers and their lives in high school during their last few months of senior year. It's pretty much like reading a 1960's soap opera/after-school special, complete with stereotypical characters. It was somewhat amusing, and at the same time slightly ridiculous.
Savanna Kuchera
Oct 15, 2012 Savanna Kuchera rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 09, 2008 Melissa rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
Two teen couples deal with relationships that are new. Liz and Sean are in love and are trying to deal with a physical relationship. Maggie and Dennis have just been introduced, very much like each other, and are trying to learn how to be in a relationship. Along the way, Liz gets pregnant and has an abortion, which tears apart both couples. Because of these issues, this book is often challenged.

In comparison with more contemporary literature, there are many authors who achieve more realistic te
Mar 23, 2012 Maureen rated it really liked it
I found the title for this book on a "My Guilty Pleasures" list on Today we would call this a young adult novel. When it was first published in 1969, I am not sure what it would have been classified as. Controversial for sure because of the subject matter (teen sex and abortion) but the imagery is so mild compared to what young adults are exposed to nowadays that I find the controversy quaint. Nevertheless, the writing was excellent, the characters were well-developed and relatable and ...more
Claire S
Read this way back when.. didn't remember is at dealing with sex and an abortion even; when I think back, I remember that they're bored and unhappy a lot. Weird.
Re-reading doesn't appeal though.
Had seemed to me the perfect encapsulation of the general griminess and tedium of actual life for so many, despite the glamour/spangliness that was accruing even at the time. Vs now, when teens have so much more actual life to choose from - like for girls, having sports + a zillion clubs. There is a clu
Jill Lorentz
Jan 23, 2011 Jill Lorentz rated it it was ok
Wow, I think I might have liked to have read this in high school and think it could help many teen girls make serious decisions they may suddenly be faced with. I wish the author had more fully developed the characters or given them a little more depth of character and interest. At the same time, maybe he intentionally kept them simple to convey the importance of getting involved in school activities. Also, the juxtaposition of innocence and adult behavior surrounding the main character almost g ...more
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Paul Zindel was an American author, playwright and educator.

In 1964, he wrote The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, his first and most successful play. The play ran off-Broadway in 1970, and on Broadway in 1971. It won the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was also made into a 1972 movie by 20th Century Fox. Charlotte Zolotow, then a vice-president at Harper & Row (now Harper-
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