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If I Love You, Am I Trapped Forever?
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If I Love You, Am I Trapped Forever?

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  319 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Alan's senior year brings many changes, some of which are very painful.
Hardcover, 177 pages
Published April 1st 1973 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1973)
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3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  319 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Eric Klee
Although this book was first published in 1973, I hadn't heard of or read it until now in 2014. It's about a popular high school teenage boy who trashes the new kid at school because he threatens his popularity. At home, Alan lives with his mom and grandfather, while his estranged father tries to become a part of his life from distant New York City, so he has that to deal with as well. Lastly, he has a crush on the new kid's mother and he hates himself for liking anything related to his "enemy." ...more
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I love you, am i trapped forever had a story that really entertained me. I've always been the kind of girl who loves romance, yet at the same time is aware of its different angles and aspects. This novel reminds me of many real life situations that probably happen around the world on a day to day basis. The kind of relationship when one of the people gets tired of being so close and needs space! After all, if i love you am i trapped forever? The context of the book and the way the author wrot ...more
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another classic novel from the 70's. The only roadblock I had to full immersion was that newspaper. Today's technophiles may not understand old school communications. The relative anonymity of submitting ads to PO Boxes rather than using electronic spaces such as email or twitter will probably be a bizarre contrast to the current rampart exhibitionism.

My favorite part was the end. I liked that it was abrupt. I liked that the seemingly egotistical narrator got a comeuppance in a way. Alan's emot
Stylistically, this book kind of reminded me of How To Say Goodbye in Robot. Or rather, Robot should have reminded me of this book since If I Love You was written in the '70s. But that's the order I read them in.

This book is kind of weird. The end especially. I think I wanted a happier, tidier ending than this book gives us. But also disturbingly intriguing. I'm not quite sure just how well this book has held up over time, but the human emotions and the teenage struggle to find one's place in th
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed in this YA novel, a quick read with interesting dialogue and imagery.
Wayne Walker
Jun 02, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sixteen year old Alan Bennett lives in Cayuta, NY, with his mother Alice who is a hostess for a Welcome Wagon type organization called Finger Lakes Friends, and grandfather who runs Bennett’s Department Store. Alan’s father, Ken Kinney, had married his mother on the rebound of a romance with a girl named Pam, but then turned around and ran off with Pam before Alan was born. Alan is a senior in high school and says, “I’m the most popular boy at Cayuta High. Very handsome. Very cool. Dynamite.” He ...more
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alan is the star of his high school class. He is popular, dating a beautiful girl, and also pretty smart. Everything seems to be going well until, Doomed (a high school geek), writes a newsletter questioning the reality of love. From there, things begin to crack. Alan's family life is not what someone would think a star athlete's home life would be. He has to deal with his father, whose drunken antics proves to be a barrier to Alan's happiness. Alan also ends up falling in love with Doom
“You use the words winner and loser to o frequently Alan,” she said, “I don’t like it.”
“It’s a fact of life, though. There are the winners and there are the losers. Of course,” I added generously, “there are the in-betweens.” Alan Bennett is a sixteen-year-old popular jock with good looks and an even better looking girlfriend, Leah. He has everything going for him until Doomed moves into town. Doomed is what Alan would call of the Jewish persuasion. He is tall, balding, and refuses to play sport
Mar 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
odd perspective. the narrator is popular but well meaning and confused, also he has a girlfriend and refers to her as "my girl, leah." The reason i keep reading it was because of Doomed. Doomed has doomed himself to transient and unrequited love and has accepted that as his quest and has named himself appropriately. He causes waves of intrigue via his haughty attitude and underground publication dedicated to espousing the ephemeral nature of love.
WHOA, all of a sudden but actually in retrospect
Alan had it all--good looks, popularity, and the girl, Leah Pennington. And quicker than you can say REMOTE he lost it, to a bald-headed, lanky senior named Duncan "Doomed" Stein. His life turned upside down, and there was no going back.

All this happening leads Alan to questioning what love is. Leah, for one, says Alan treats love as a trap, which is where the clever title comes from: "If I love you, am I trapped forever?" Alan's de\ad, who left his mother long ago for another woman, shows no lo
My roommate picked this up at the library used book sale as something of a fluke. We found the title hilarious (we were actually disappointed we couldn't find another one of the author's other books, Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack) and started reading it aloud to one another during dinner/spare time for kicks.

I think it starts out pretty mediocre verging on the hilariously bad, but it really finds its stride in the middle. Having almost the identical family situation as the main character, the part
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it as a Kid...

...Loved it as a kid-at-heart. As I remember, M.E. Kerr was getting a little outdated when I read her books, and none of my young friends seem to have heard of her, so do your favourite teenager a favor and suggest this, and her other books, like "Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!" to them. The books messages are timeless and Me. Kerr, perhaps wisely, perhaps unknowingly left out references that would make the stories seem ancient to young eyes, such as specific fashions or fads tha
Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Things I remember about this book: it was narrated by a cocky teenager who thought he was really attractive; he had a girlfriend he liked mostly because she was attractive; the other main character was named Duncan, although the narrator called him "Doomed"; Duncan wrote poetry and published a zine called "Remote"; Duncan talks about the Paul McCartney song "Maybe I'm Amazed," which wasn't popular at the time (it didn't chart until a few years later); and one other thing that's a spoiler so I wo ...more
Nov 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-younguns-too
This 1973 young adult book offers a classic take on the shifts from seeing the world outside of the comfortable, sensible way it looked before the black and white swirled together. The narrator is a disdainful jock who likes things to make sense. He opens by explaining his use of the phrase "those of Jewish persuasion" as a kindly way to speak of those of such leanings.
I quite enjoyed the parallels to Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli.
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to give this 5 stars, but I just couldn't.
The story started slow, but picked up quickly.
I read this all in one sitting, not a great feat since it s a short book. Never the less. I was sad when I finished this book.
Take that how You may.
Sarah Townsend

This book was a good one! But the ending was horrible. I don't even know if you could called it an ending! It seems to me that the writer just decided in the middle of the chapter that the book was finished.
A book about the enduring problem of trying to hold onto one's identity while in a romantic/love/sexual relationship with another person. Does it ever really get easy?
Aug 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This book is a bit dated (I have a great version with the 1973 cover - classic), but the questions of love and relationships are timeless.
Jun 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, re-read
Not as weird as some of her other works (Little Little) but still kind of strange and fun. Nothing is resolved really.
Aug 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the way the book was written, however I don't think it is timeless. And I was unhappy with the ending, but I think that is the author's intent.
Janice Fahrney-rudeen
Oh yeah....

Oh those emotional hurdles , those growing pains during the final year of high school. The title really says it all.
Amira Bani
Oct 11, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I gotta say, I only loved the ending of this book.. I don't know, I kind of felt lost when I reached the middle of the book. So yeah.. I loved how it didn't end in a typical "teenagers-love" way.
Libby Sullivan
Oh how cliche. This was supposed to be a book that dug deep into the human mind, but all it did was show me the life of another privileged kid that suddenly has something terrible (but not really) happen and he is ruined forever. The book was predictable, bland and lacking any real character depth.
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
My favorite of her books, solid YA and holds up pretty well overall. A few cringey language moments (Alan says something is "faggy" late in the book), but the angst is still prescient and overall message still rings true.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 19, realistic-fiction
Alan is arrogant, but he knows it. He tells the tale of how the tables are turned in his senior year of high school as he falls from golden boy to outsider.
Oct 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is pretty interesting. I like it because it talks about a new kid in high school who is made fun of. They call him "Doomed". But I guess he doesn't care what other people say. The narrator, Alan tries to be his frend but he is rejected. Doomed doesn't want anything to do with anybody at his new school. Or atleast thats what poeple thought until he started writing a school newspaper in which he posted ads for secret encounters with other students. Everyone at school talks about the news ...more
i thought this was a well written book. at first i was going to put it down but then i kept reading it and i loved it!
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read May 1979.
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a good book that I enjoyed. It was very deep and it made me think/reflect many times. But it was an example of how love doesn't always mean "perfect."
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M. E. Kerr was born Marijane Meaker in Auburn, New York. Her interest in writing began with her father, who loved to read, and her mother, who loved to tell stories of neighborhood gossip. Unable to find an agent to represent her work, Meaker became her own agent, and wrote articles and books under a series of pseudonyms: Vin Packer, Ann Aldrich, Laura Winston, M.E. Kerr, and Mary James. As M.E. K ...more
“I saw that a tender feeling was blossoming in her heart, like a rose in spring and I could not help recalling Petrarch’s saying, “Innocence is often but a hair’s breadth from ruin.” 1 likes
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