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The Wind Blows Backward

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,178 ratings  ·  134 reviews
Lauren and Spencer share a love of poetry, and both have problems with their parents. But when Lauren realizes that she is falling in love with Spencer, she also begins to recognize his moody and self-destructive side.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 1st 1994 by HarperTeen (first published April 20th 1993)
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Crystal I believe you may mean "Richard Cory" by Edwin Arlington Robinson. Though it's been years since I've read this book.

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Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,178 ratings  ·  134 reviews

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Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm giving this five stars, not for how I might read it now, but for how I read it in sixth grade.

Spencer? SWOON. Like, five-stars swoonerific. Be still my eleven-year-old heart.

Seeing this book also makes me think I need to start laying off making fun of the Twilight tweens. As far as obsessive, co-dependent love goes, Stephanie Meyer's characters pale (hahaha, pun) in comparison. But seeing this book makes me realize that I did indeed find that terribly romantic when I was a tween, so I need
♔ Shayna
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honestly the only thing I can say is this is, and always will be, my favorite book. I can never get pass the beauty and ingenuity of this book. This book is the equivalent of a gateway drug introducing me to my new life, obsession, and passion.
May 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fan's of Outsiders and Rumblefish
I have no idea why this book, a 20 year old teen read with a dated cover, caught my eye but I'm so glad it did. It is a poignant read that really affected me.

Lauren is a high school senior, the introverted, smart, bookish type. Spencer is a track star, and one of the most popular boys in school. She was in love with him in eighth grade when they used to be best friends. When Spencer's athletic ability moved him up the social ladder in the ninth grade he dropped her.

She's confused about her inte
Aug 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
I was, like, 14 when I read this book. It's not for 14-year-olds. Mary Downing Hahn should stick to kids books. I remember thinking when I read this that it was really dirty. Looking back, it may not have been that dirty. But the main characters where, like, 17 and sexually active... but it was okay because they were totally in love. riiiiiight. Also, I remember that he carried a condom around in his pocket and I thought that was weird. ALSO, if I'd read this when I'd been volunteering at the ba ...more
Jul 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mythang
OMG, I read this in 8th grade and LOVED it. It was probably my favorite book as a teen because I related to it so much more than other YA out in the 90s. And the guy on that cover? He still makes me swoon!
"The Wind Blows Backward" by Mary Downing Hahn came highly recommended and it's one of the best book recommendations I've ever received.
Though it's been published more than twenty years ago and is now out of print, it isn't outdated by any stretch. To the contrary-it seamlessly fits into current times.

Honestly, this is one of the best Young Adult books I've ever read-both in writing style as well as storyline.
Its depth, the beauty of the writing and not to mention two wonderful, multi-dimensi
Kelli Houts
Feb 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
This book was an eye opening book to me. I can't explain why exactly, but I know that when I read this after renting it from the library I was so engrossed that I waited until the library put it in the book sale they were having and I bought it. I was meant to read and own this book. I read it at least 5 or 6 times in the few years following my original read in high school. I could not believe the freedom the girl received and the fact that they both put themselves out on a limb for each other. ...more
Spider the Doof Warrior
This is actually a great book. I identified with the main character's obsession with books.
It's just this is another book I first read in high school. Ages ago I read it again as an adult and noticed that the relationship in the book is totally unhealthy.
And the main character, she tries her best to stick by it, however, I'd be afraid teenage girls would read this book, get into relationships with troubled young men and think that their loooooooooove can save them.
This isn't the case though. A
Jul 29, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2009
And people think Edward and Bella are needy and co-dependent? They've got NOTHING on Lauren and Spencer!
I was a huge fan of Mary Downing Hahn's children's books from the time I was in 2nd grade. I discovered this book when I was in 6th grade, and it was definitely the first book I ever read with a more mature, adult mindset and plot. I'm amazed at how many people have said the same thing in their reviews that I feel about what this book did for them.

This book did for me as a young adolescent what another of MDH's books, Wait till Helen Comes did for me as a 7 year old. It opened my eyes to what go
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: printbook, fiction
This was my FAVORITE book as a young teen that I read over and over and over again. I've actually been trying to find it online on and off for years but I couldn't remember the title just lines from the poem the two main characters like to recite and their names too. Finally tonight I found somebody asking the same question online and there was somebody with answer for them: "The Wind Blows Backward". This was a shared favorite with my jr. high school best friend and I, we wore the book out. I r ...more
Kendra Allen
Aug 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-and-loved
As a middle school student, I came to own a copy of this book. After reading and loving it, I promptly passed it to all of my friends. Today, my copy is yellowed, creased, and close to falling apart. I read it again recently, revisiting Lauren and Spencer and their high school romance. While my reading interests have matured, there is still something that plays on the introverted bookworm in me and draws me in, making me want to be Lauren so that I can have a Spencer, too.
Lisa Filipe
Jun 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of my favorite books that I first read in seventh grade. This was the book that solidified my love of books. I have read this book once a year since and I am now almost 30. Its a book that all teens should read. Has an amzaing storyline and brings to light tough issues for teens. Loved it, Loved it!!
Liis McKinstry
Mar 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
To a teenage-girl obsessed with HEAs, there was nothing more appealing than Spencer. I read this book every week for a solid year. And then it was taken away by a teacher and I never got it back.
Ashlee Jean
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“The Wind Blows Backward,” by Mary Downing Hahn, is about a girl named Lauren and a boy named Spencer who fall in two very different social classes. Lauren and Spencer used to be best friends until Spencer became popular their freshman year and changed completely. He became the “Prince of the Jocks” and stopped talking to Lauren. It wasn’t until their senior year when they bumped into each other, that Spencer wanted her in his life again. It turned out that Spencer’s life wasn’t really as perfec ...more
Sep 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I seriously used to read and reread this book like once a week when I was twelve. MDH was my absolute favorite author back in the day, and I remember once I wrote her a letter when I was about 8 (and reading her middle grade stuff), and she wrote back to me the nicest handwritten note and the recommendation to read this one when I was older. This book is so romantic, dramatic, terrifying, and sad, and wins bonus points for making me interested in nineteenth century poetry at a time when my main ...more
Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My copy of this book is missing pages. The cover had come off, so I rubber banded the whole thing together. I have loved this book since I was allowed to choose from the Junior High library shelves in 5th grade (I had read all of the books in my grade's section). Such a good book. A bit intense for the younger crowds, but still so good.
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
There isn't anything that I can add that hasn't already been said time and time again in almost every review. I read this book in junior high, renting it from the library so many times that I convinced the librarian that I lost it just so I could pay to keep it! And I still own that copy - and another "just in case."
Jan 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jr-high-reads
I loved this book so much. I dont know why. Some of it you read you sat and thought, "yeah ok, like that would happen", but other parts you were like "wow, I can understand that, it happened to me". Even now that Im older, I still love this book and can read it over and over again
Jenn Westwood
Nov 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! My friend just randomly grabbed it off a shelf without looking at it and I finished it within 12 hours. I just couldn't put it down. It really related to what's going on in my life and I would reread it again any day!
Mar 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the book that changed it all!! I used to HATE reading, but after i read this i can't stop!

This book is great. The story draws you in and keeps you wrapped up in the lives of the people telling the story. You can't put it down!
This came out in 1993 and changed my life as a reader. I loved it and must have read it 10 times. Coming back to this as an adult, it still holds up. I still love it.
Sep 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sunlion
My favorite book growing up... Still one of my favorites, actually!
Claire is looking for Bloodlines series ARCs
Not an abusive relationship but not a healthy one either.
EDIT: Although, I might cite some instances where it may be abusive because the mc doesn't seem to have agency.

If you like drama combined with high school tropes (think One Tree Hill and Dawson Creek), you might like this one.

***Full review to come in my book blog.

ALSO, I MADE A PLAYLIST FOR THIS BOOK. Apparently, it's my thing now. For other bookish playlists, click here for my spotify.
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
I've actually read this book a ridiculous number of times. But as of today (Sept 2015), I think I can officially give away my copy and declare myself done.

To this book's credit, it's a pretty accurate portrayal of what it's like to love someone with severe depression and suicidal idealization. On the other hand... it's TOO accurate a portrayal of both those things to really scratch my id-itch. The premise has a lot of promise: bookish, nerdy girl reunites with her middle school love, who abandon
Stephanie Briceno
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Okay so I have read this book before when i was in sixth grade and it's been stuck in my head ever since. I absolutely love this book. I love the cliche love story and the high school drama that Mary Hahn put is this book. I'm a hopeless romantic so I really enjoyed this book. It's like most high school romance books. The jock finally notices the lonely girl or the most popular girl in high school finally realizes lonely boy. The main characters had a thing before you could say and they have alw ...more
Dec 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Hum...Goodreads doesn't have a lot to say about this one, does it? Most people rate it 4-5 stars, and I admit I was once a great lover of this book. When it was first published, I was around Lauren's age. Now, I'm a year younger than her mom. Really puts things into perspective. I had my own copy for over a decade, but traded it on Paperback Swap a few years ago. I saw this tattered copy when I was browsing the library shelves last week, and was flooded with a tidal wave of book nostalgia. I had ...more
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book just as much as I love "The Raging Quiet"by Sherryl Jordan! The characters felt so real that I could almost touch them and the imagery was beautiful with the way the author wrote her words so vividly. This book is now one of my favorites, I definitely added to my favorite collection. And more thing: Spencer were art thou? Seriously! Even with his moody and mess of life I still greatly cared for him, but of course I am glad that he has Lauren to accompany him in his dark, passive ...more
Kaitlyn Tudder
The Wind Blows Backward. This novel is a good read, when i read this book I didn't want to put it down. Mary Downing Hahn is a writer that has book of many different genres. This book is about a girl that had a crush but she kinda lost the crush when she found out the kind of person he was.
Lauren is a shy person who was bullied throughout her elementary, middle school and most of her high school year. She then found out the Spencer( her old crush) was only pretending to be that person for his fr
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I grew up in a small shingled house down at the end of Guilford Road in College Park, Maryland. Our block was loaded with kids my age. We spent hours outdoors playing "Kick the Can" and "Mother, May I" as well as cowboy and outlaw games that usually ended in quarrels about who shot whom. In the summer, we went on day long expeditions into forbidden territory -- the woods on the other side of the t ...more

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