by Carol Lynch Williams
In this teen comedy cum love story, Williams (The True Colors of Caitlynne Jackson) alternates the points of view of Sage and George, two high school wannabe-authors secretly enamored with each other, and, unfortunately, incorporates generous samples of "their" work. When the school announces its annual writing competition, Sage is eager to enter her "steamy" novel-in-progress starring Angelica (with "blacker-than-the-night hair" and "brighter-than-a-blue-sky eyes") and her Native American lover, 247 Bears (whose numeral changes with each rewrite). The problem: George knows Sage's writing is atrocious and although he would like to win the contest himself by submitting some poems, he also wants to spare his beloved a humiliating loss. The solution: George decides to hide part of Sage's manuscript, so the judges will never lay eyes on it. While readers may find the antics of the too-naive heroine and bland hero to be as unconvincing as the pat outcome of this story, extracts of Sage's purple prose may elicit a few guffaws. Overall, the novel holds little suspense and comes embarrassingly close to crossing the "cutesy" line; a similar conceit, pitting a romance novel versus real-life romance, is handled with a great deal more wit in Louise Plummer's The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman. Ages 10-14.
Copyright 1998 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Lighthearted and sensitive, Williams's latest offering introduces readers to 15-year-old Sage-and to her fictional creation, Angelica. The teen lives and breathes her heroine's exploits as she spends her days writing new versions of her great romance novel. Sage's good friend George listens to each version in agony, since truth be told, Sage is a lousy writer. When she decides to enter her novel in the school writing contest, George decides he must protect her from the ridicule he knows she will receive when others read the story. He sees his choices as either sabotaging her entry (without her suspecting his subterfuge) or competing against her. The story, effectively told from Sage's and George's alternating points of view, reveals that the real romance is between the two main characters as their relationship changes from childhood friends to boyfriend and girlfriend. While the tone is far different from that in The True Colors of Caitlynne Jackson (Delacorte, 1997), Williams's strength of characterization again shines. Angelica's humorous exploits, which Sage writes in all seriousness, set an interesting stage for her own development. The twists and turns of the plot, the way the "real" characters interact, and the concern and caring underlying the humorous situations make this a truly enjoyable novel.-Janet Hilbun, Sam Houston Middle School, Garland,
Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc.