Monday, February 06, 2017
Love Bomb, by Jenny McLachlan
Betty has got it bad for Toby. She can't do anything else but obsess about kissing him. And she knows he likes her back because he's even asked her to sing in his band. But why is that the more she learns about him the more what she learns bothers her? Why can't his hot body be attached to someone nicer like her best friend Bill? If only she could ask her Mum for advice, but she passed away when Betty was two. And now all she has left are letters her mother wrote to her -- letters, in which she finds wisdom and solace.
Oh, it's so so filled of cliches. From the bad boy who's no good for the girl and the nice boy she overlooks. From the squealing gossip and the loud crazy unchaperoned party. There's the clueless Dad with the new (threatening, but really quite nice) girlfriend. The awkward first kiss and the perfect one that concludes the book. And, of course, there's the dead mother. Do tween readers really don't care that they've read this story a hundred times before (probably not!). In any case, there's not much new under the sun here. The kids are fun to spend some time with, but this is light young love.
Finally, there's the awkward question of targeted age. The kids here are so innocent about sex and romance, that I'm prone to plug this as a middle reader, but the drugs, alcohol, and criminal content definitely puts it into the adolescent category. Is there something between tween and teen?