Jamie hears about all kinds of trouble, about girls that get pregnant. At a time when pregnancy out of wedlock is something to be ashamed of, when peoJamie hears about all kinds of trouble, about girls that get pregnant. At a time when pregnancy out of wedlock is something to be ashamed of, when people look at you like you’ve done the unthinkable and call you names, Jamie finds out her best friend is one of those girls in trouble.
This is not only a story of teenage pregnancy; it’s a story of prejudice and ignorance. It’s a time when someone is condemned and imprisoned for speaking his mind; when people integrate the whites from the colored even though everyone’s born the same.
Jamie and Elaine are both naïve and childish, Elaine being the most silly of the two. I first thought Levine wrote her characters too young for them to be sixteen, but that kind of gullibility is what made the situation all the more horrifying.
It’s not a case of they knew the consequences but they still did it, it’s a matter of they didn’t know any better. Parents just have their sex talk too late, or never talk about it at all. At school, all they take is how an egg is fertilized, just not the details. There are no counselors to help them, no teachers or parents to explain to them that most guys just look for sex.
The society gives these girls the silent, outcast treatment, but they never ask about the father. No girl gets pregnant on her own. It just makes it all easier to guys to dump the girl and find another catch. Harsh, but true.
I had a hard time imagining the story to be in the fifties. There was talk of politics and Elvis when he just came to be famous, but that wouldn't be something most people would be able to relate to. Not to forget the use of letters and strange phone codes, but still, I had to remind myself at times that this supposedly happened sixty years ago. A star was lost for a not so believable time period.
There were a lot of complaints about the writing style, but I found nothing wrong with it. It actually reminded me of Judy Blume’s stories, even though Ellen Levine has a better grip on storytelling. I just loved the way the narration gave us a view into a troubled, sixteen year old girl’s mind; into her thoughts and struggles.
The topic is hard to stomach -a hit or miss book- but it does leave a lot to ponder over.
It seems they were the perfect couple: Rob and Holly. Despite their different backgrounds and interests, they clicked and they were happy. At least unIt seems they were the perfect couple: Rob and Holly. Despite their different backgrounds and interests, they clicked and they were happy. At least until the car accident happened, and Rob is dead while Holly survives.
Everyone is tormented after his death; Holly thinks it has something to do with her; Rob’s friends blame Holly. But none of them can understand what really happened that night.
Now Rob’s ghost haunts his loved ones after his death and Holly’s grandpa, Aldo, is the only one who can see him. Yikes.
It might look like the back cover blurb of a really dramatic and overly sappy book, but it’s not. This is not a paranormal story; this is not about Rob. It’s about coping with a loved person’s death, wondering if you really knew that person as well as you did.
I keep thinking, “If it was me in Holly’s shoes, what would I be doing?” but I can’t imagine myself handling all of the things Holly manages to do. She’s taking care of her grandpa and her sister, and she’s the one to cook and clean and be the adult. I’m not the one with the dead boyfriend and the mother who is never there because she’s working two shifts. We have it so easy we forget people like Holly exist.
But Jason, Rob’s best friend, is there to help Holly with everything she’s going through after Rob, as he tries to move on himself. Jason came across as a real sweet guy who has it bad for Holly. I did find it strange though that he only got interested in Holly after Rob’s death when he barely talked to her before. Rob was the common link between the two at first, but eventually, their relationship became more than a support thing.
Jason and Holly didn’t realize how dependent they were on Rob until they lost him, and it was like they were replacing his memory with this newly found love.
Maybe the greatest message of this book is love is the best healer. It won’t make you forget, but it will help a little to fill the void in your heart.
I liked the use of all three narratives and Davis’s writing style; it was simple but nevertheless, emotionally profound.