**Read and reviewed for the Judy Blume 2012 Challenge **
Wow, finally a book by Blume I didn't enjoy or think was well done. This is a famous piece of hers because of the controversy of underage sex during dating. It has been frequently banned. It's one that has eluded my collection for years and once I finally found it, read it quickly but was left disappointed.
Blume is usually pro at weaving realistic situations, writing emotional depth convincingly, and propelling average stories forever with oomph, but here it all fell short. It felt too forced, as if it was something she was trying to write about but missed the mark on. Despite the heavy subject matter, the language was too simplistic and empty for what it accomplished, unconvincing.
In times past this was an important, controversial book. Sex among teens in books now isn't as taboo and the world is more jaded. Back then a lot of kids needed a respectful fiction source to go to about sex, experiences, and questions. This did fill that purpose then, even if I still think the writing was lackluster and didn't enjoy the characterization/events.
Love was supposed to be the driving factor, but the relationship seemed stale, forced, and not realistic to how seventeen year olds feel. Some of the dialogue was cheesy and almost like reading a guide.
The ending left a bad taste in my mouth. It was predictable - realistic even - but it felt out there without any substance and irked me emotionally. Kathy's parents were particularly obnoxious and I would have rebelled at that age with the kind of control they were trying to exert. So, an important book for its time and while the theme hasn't diminished, I don't think the writing was stellar nor the protagonist realistic.
“Like my mother said, you can't go back to holding hands.”
“It's strange, but when it comes right down to it I never do fall apart--even when I'm sure I will.”