Customer Reviews


5 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Princess Diaries!, 31 Mar. 2003
By 
Sarah Enany (Denver, Colorado USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Letters Of A Lovestruck Teenager (Red Fox young adult) (Paperback)
Where's the publicity machine that could have turned this amazing little book into an international bestseller? Every time I pick up this little gem of a coming-of-age book, I find something new to wonder about - and I'm 32. The heroine, Gillian ("Gilly") Freeborn, proves that the epistolary form is not dead, and that the _Bildungsroman_ (coming-of-age novel) is still a viable genre, though the tone is so informal, and the pages turn so fast, that you might be forgiven for not noticing the serious side.
The entire novel is made up of Gilly's letters to the Agony Aunt of a local newspaper, over such fourteen-going-on-fifteen woes as getting breasts, dorky friends, and unrequited crushes. What lifts this book up out of the ordinary plane is that Gilly is a budding writer, and this is reflected in her turn of phrase. She is so witty it hurts. Take her response to the Agony Aunt's reassurance that " 'a lot of girls go through life flat-chested and are perfectly happy.' Well, let me tell you that this news has gone down like a lead balloon in this department. Of course, thinking long term, I might save money on underwear, but who cares?" (I am quoting from memory here.) Whether she is wryly commenting that she, unlike her heroine Emily Bronte, is unlikely to become a poet since she has a view of Lego-like trees from her bedroom window instead of the romantic heath, or panicking about having friends who go through life "ejecting unidentified matter at key points" (again, quote from memory) when her klutziest classmate drops the baked beans the class made in Home Economics right in front of the boy Gilly fancies, Gilly's voice rings unfailingly true, a captivating mix of genuine confusion and dry humour. In her early poetic attempts, she abandons her stilted attempts at verse to write about her crush: "He lives in a house with a garden. His mother has black hair too. They keep a dog," (quote from memory) she adds: "All this is poetry. I have it in a special page at the back of my book." (quote from memory) Her touching designation of mundane details as "poetry" is something I have returned to over the years, something that has been useful in my theatre career, where a mundane phrase _can_ become poetry by virtue of the weight we invest in it.
Aside from the literally laugh-a-line comedy, the book has a poignant undercurrent: there is something moving in Gilly's attempts to come to terms with the idea of sex, juxtaposed with her efforts to resolve her hippie-turned-bourgeois parents' marital crisis. Indirectly, through her, we learn of their lost love and lost ideals. At the height of a screaming match, Gilly muses: "And all the time I was thinking that these two fierce and furious warriors had actually _done it_, by choice." As she plays 1960s music nonstop to remind them of their lost love, we also get a glimpse into the parents' lost _youth_; the transience of time, and the changes which time wreaks on people, can be glimpsed like a dark shadow through the sparkling prose. I was reminded of the famous passage from James Saunders' play _Next Time I'll Sing to You_: "There lies behind everything...a certain quality which we may call grief. It's always there, just under the surface, just behind the façade, sometimes very nearly exposed, so that you can dimly see the shape of it... you realize suddenly that [it was] always there below the surface, even while the water sparkled in the sunshine..." The more mature reader can look through Gilly's eyes past what Gilly sees, down the passage of time, to see the gradual erosion of her parents' dreams, the roots of conflict.
In the end the dark shadow is wrestled to the ground, but the seriousness of the outlook, the desire to seize every moment and make the most of life, remains. This is what we get out of the book in the end, as opposed to some romantic 'happy ending'. Whether Gilly gets her crush turns out to be irrelevant; we cheer her on as she finds herself. I have always been surprised that this book never won a prize. It's priceless.
I could go on and on, but the summary is that this is a very funny and charming book for all ages. Read it. You won't be sorry.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was a fantastic and hilarious book!, 4 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Letters Of A Lovestruck Teenager (Red Fox young adult) (Paperback)
I loved the book! It was so funny I couldn't put it down but just kept on reading and reading to find out her other plan to get noticed by HIM! Gilly is just like any other teenage girl, which makes it more enjoyable to read. Her letters to agony aunt, Alexa are hilarious! Everything about it is excellent, I definitely recommend it to teenage girls as it is funny, romantic (in its own way), realistic and well funny again! All in all it gets a full thumbs up from me, it's worth buying!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's just fab, 21 Feb. 2003
By 
Laura (Plymouth, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Letters Of A Lovestruck Teenager (Red Fox young adult) (Paperback)
Not many people have heard of this book i'm sure but i personally think this book is brilliant! Although it's not as good as the Georgia Nicholson (By Louise Rennison) series it still contains rib-tickling humour throughout the book. It doesn't exactly have a proper storyline, but the situations, main character, Gilly Freeborn finds herself in are something to relate to and gives a cringe worthy effect. Just a fab book
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars I thought this book reflected on real life sooooo much!, 7 Jan. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Letters Of A Lovestruck Teenager (Red Fox young adult) (Paperback)
this book related to every day life it told the truth and it was so funny Gilly Freeborn is writing letters to an agony aunt and it really is hilarious!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Looks great, 29 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Letters Of A Lovestruck Teenager (Red Fox young adult) (Paperback)
Not read this book yet but the preview made me laugh it looks like its going to be a very good read
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Letters Of A Lovestruck Teenager (Red Fox young adult)
Letters Of A Lovestruck Teenager (Red Fox young adult) by Claire Robertson (Paperback - 4 Feb. 1999)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews