kyliemm's Reviews > I'll Be Seeing You

I'll Be Seeing You by Lurlene McDaniel
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May 10, 10

bookshelves: ya-lit-class
Read in May, 2010

This romance novel is about a girl named Carley who has a terrible facial deformity. While in the hospital with a broken leg, she meets a boy named Kyle who has temporarily lost his eyesight because of a chemistry experiment that went terribly wrong. The two kind of seem to fall in love, but Carley is too frightened to tell Kyle that she is secretly ugly, and her refusal to see him almost ruins their friendship/romance. I think that Lurlene McDaniel’s intentions in writing this novel were initially good: she wants to appeal to teenagers who are 1) insecure about their appearance, and 2) desperately want a boyfriend and/or girlfriend. I therefore think she’s trying to push for teenagers to be less superficial and accept themselves as they really are, as well as telling them that they can eventually find someone who will love them (romantically) regardless of their outside features. However, McDaniel ultimately undercuts this emphasis on the inside rather than outside person; Carley is an angsty brat—even more so than most teenagers, including myself, which is saying something—who only surmounts the challenge of her facial deformity because she gets plastic surgery. Kyle says he accepts Carley regardless of her appearance, but he is still repulsed by her misshapen face. This novel lacked character development, a coherent plot, or a follow-through in the moral that people should love you regardless of your personal appearance. I didn’t read many romance novels as a teenager, but the ones I did (like Nicola and the Viscount and Victoria and the Rogue by Meg Cabot) at least featured strong female heroines and moral male leads, neither of whom needed plastic surgery to feel good about themselves. I understand why this novel and its attempted themes would seem to appeal to teens; however, for a novel that deals more explicitly and directly with teens coming to terms with the fact that people judge them based on their personal appearance, teenagers and adults should try something like Goth Girl by Barry Lyga or Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson—both of which feature developed characters, interesting plotlines, and problems that aren’t fixed with solutions as easy as Carley’s plastic surgery.
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message 1: by Jon (new)

Jon That cover gets four stars.


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