Boy Girl Boy

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Larry, Teresa, and Elliot are so tight, there's no room in their circle for more than three: boy, girl, boy. And when they graduate, they plan to move to California to start their real lives--together.
    
But who are they fooling? Larry is gay and trying to come to terms with his sexuality. Teresa is tired of hanging out with boys she loves who don't want to be her boyfriend. And Elliot is realizing that he may ...
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Overview


Larry, Teresa, and Elliot are so tight, there's no room in their circle for more than three: boy, girl, boy. And when they graduate, they plan to move to California to start their real lives--together.
    
But who are they fooling? Larry is gay and trying to come to terms with his sexuality. Teresa is tired of hanging out with boys she loves who don't want to be her boyfriend. And Elliot is realizing that he may like himself more if he isn't always in the shadow of his friends. This is a wry, surprising, and insightful story about three best friends who each learn how tough it is to be yourself.
    
Includes an interview with the author.
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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
"A delightful, perceptive book about the dichotomy of teenage friendship and the struggle for individual identity"
Publishers Weekly
As he did in Stoner & Spaz, Koertge once again creates intelligent, full-blooded teens grappling with their passage into adulthood. The book opens in smalltown Wendleville during senior year for Elliot, Teresa and Larry, who have been friends since childhood and who plan to move to California after graduation. Various flashbacks through their alternating first-person narratives help readers understand the history between the three. Elliot is a stunning jock, but his friendship with the other two bring out his more vulnerable side (they also help him with his studies). Teresa, obsessed with running, grapples with an eating disorder and her abandonment by her mother at age 13. Her quick wit (while running she describes the sites, one of which is the "we-love-Jesus-more-than-you-do Baptist church") makes for some clever repart e with Larry, who, at age 13, realized he was gay (he loves watching movies on TV: "Lo and behold, there's an old black-and-white Tarzan movie with the exquisite Johnny Weissmuller wrestling a fortunate crocodile"). A scene with a toxic homophobe on the basketball court with Elliot leaves no doubt of the trajectory here, but Larry's brush with near-death brings about some soul-searching for all three characters. The plot may hold no surprises, but the three stars and even the minor characters here will hold readers' interest. Ages 14-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT - Michele Winship
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, September 2005: Kortege is back with another multiple-voice novel that focuses on the friendship of high school seniors Larry, Teresa and Eliot. They are at a turning point in their lives, ready to leave childhood behind and move into the adult world. They have decided that immediately following graduation, they are going to ditch their plans for college and move to California together, a decision that becomes more complicated by their changing feelings toward each other. Elliot is a jock who has lived the typical American middle-class life, with a father who is looking forward to his playing college basketball. But Elliot is not the best student and really doesn't want to go to college. And, he's started a relationship with Mary Ann that he might like to continue. Teresa runs. She runs from her past and her mother who left and her father who stays in the basement playing with model trains. Larry is a perfect best friend. He's bright, witty, athletic...and gay. Unfortunately, he lives in a town with bullies who get their kicks out of tormenting anyone who is different. Together, they have grown up and shared everything. Now, though, their plans for California just don't seem to be working out, and when tragedy almost separates them for good, they realize that maybe they each need to follow their own destinies. Once again, Kortege's talent for getting inside the heads of his adolescent characters creates a novel in which many different young people will see themselves.
KLIATT
Kortege is back with another multiple-voice novel that focuses on the friendship of high school seniors Larry, Teresa and Eliot. They are at a turning point in their lives, ready to leave childhood behind and move into the adult world. They have decided that immediately following graduation, they are going to ditch their plans for college and move to California together, a decision that becomes more complicated by their changing feelings toward each other. Elliot is a jock who has lived the typical American middle-class life, with a father who is looking forward to his playing college basketball. But Elliot is not the best student and really doesn't want to college. And, he's started a relationship with Mary Ann that he might like to continue. Teresa runs. She runs from her past and her mother who left and her father who stays in the basement playing with model trains. Larry is a perfect best friend. He's bright, witty, athletic . . . and gay. Unfortunately, he lives in a town with bullies who get their kicks out of tormenting anyone who is different. Together, they have grown up and shared everything. Now, though, their plans for California just don't seem to be working out, and when tragedy almost separates them for good, they realize that maybe they each need to follow their own destinies. Once again, Kortege's talent for getting inside the heads of his adolescent characters creates a novel in which many different young people will see themselves. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, Harcourt, 176p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Michele Winship
Kirkus Reviews
Three unlikely longtime friends-Elliot, the basketball star whose religious parents don't approve of his friends, Theresa, the photographer who secretly harbors a crush on Elliot, and Larry, the clever film aficionado who's slowly coming to terms with his homosexuality-plot a summer escape in the form of a road trip from their home in small-town Iowa all the way to California. As expected, Koertge creates fresh, familiar, multifaceted and well-rounded characters that provoke contemplation yet keep the reader turning the pages. In fact, it's the characters that are the primary driving force behind this instead of its flimsy plot, and herein lies the crux: The characters are so well developed that their thoughts and dreams create a tangle of mini-subplots. Each thread is interesting and true to the character, but as a whole they seem to lead in no clear direction. This scattershot effect may mirror human existence but doesn't necessarily make a story teenagers will want to read. Moreover, when Koertge does choose a place to move the plot forward, the result feels forced, especially after his delicate treatment of the characters' journey through self-discovery and acceptance. (Fiction. YA)
From the Publisher

"Koertge returns with memorable, likable characters, spot-on dialogue that is both humorous and insightful, and a subtle exploration of prejudices and issues that will resonate with teens . . . A perceptive book about teenage friendship and the struggle for individual identity . . . Buy several copies."--Booklist (starred review)
 
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152053253
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/1/2005
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


RON KOERTGE has written many highly acclaimed books for young readers, including Stoner & Spaz, Margaux with an X, The Brimstone Journals, Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, and Where the Kissing Never Stops. He lives in South Pasadena, California.
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Read an Excerpt


I am hot! Nothing but net from everywhere. Okay, it's my driveway and nobody's got his hand in my face, but this is amazing. Fifteen in a row, the last one from the middle of the street. I wish that jerk who wrote Slow release, slow feet on a scouting report could see me now.

When I was little, I slept with my basketball. Mom's got a picture of me in my Spidey pajamas, both arms around my first Rawlings. Maybe I'm not the fastest guy in the world, but nobody takes the ball away from me.

I wish I didn't have to meet Mary Ann. Or maybe I just wish I didn't have to meet her in the pasture. I for sure can't go until I miss. No way am I stopping when I'm on a run like this.

Well...

Nobody could have made that last one. Now I can trudge down there. Up Huron Street, cut past Mr. Denby's house; go by the falling-down-on-itself shed where Mr. Tieman kept plow horses about a thousand years ago, cross the barbed wire fence, then pick up the path that zigzags down toward the little stream Teresa used to pretend was the Nile.

Oh, man. The view from here used to be so cool: up to my ankles in fescue, big stand of maple trees, and a few cows with those black-and-white sides like seat covers.

And now? More little stakes with more orange ribbons. I come down here at night, pull them up, and throw them away. Next morning they're back. What do they do-multiply in the dark? Now they're almost to the Volvo. Our Volvo.

I dial Larry on my new cell. I point like he was right beside me. "Can you believe this?"

"It's not even ten a.m., Elliot. I'm vulnerable. I can believe anything."

"I'm down in the pasture. Waiting for Mary Ann. What do you think would happen if I laid down in front of the bulldozers?"

"That's lay down, Elliot, and anyway they'd run over you. Did you finish your Gatsby essay?"

"Teresa's proofing it. Listen, Mary Ann's on her way, but where are you going to be in twenty minutes?"

"Twenty minutes? The girls on The View are right: Romance is dead."

"She said she just wants to talk."

"I'll be here for a little while. I'm watching this movie on HBO."

"I'm gonna call Teresa. I'll tell her to meet me at your house, okay? We'll do something."

"Don't we always?"

I hit the little End button to finish the call. Larry's always watching a movie. Or part of one, anyway. He's funny that way. We've been friends forever, though. Me, him, and Teresa. They're the only ones I've got in my phone book.

I punch #2 and don't even give her a chance to say anything. "Hey, have you seen the pasture?"

"Hello to you, too."

"Well, have you seen it?"

"Sure, Larry and I tried to figure out how big the lots are. There's either going to be sixteen castles with room for a few serfs or two hundred and thirty huts with a hog wallow."

"This has been our place since we were kids."

"Honey, if it's your childhood you're worried about, I've got about a thousand pictures of you in war paint, brandishing a bow and arrow. And another fifty of Larry squatting by a fire, stirring imaginary maize in an imaginary pot."

"You know, we should do something. What if we burned the Volvo? What if we burned all our stuff?"

"Arson's always fun."

"Hey, you want to hang out at Larry's in a little bit? Maybe twenty minutes? I gotta meet Mary Ann, but-"

"You're not inviting her to your birthday party, are you?"

My dad's a butcher, and I am, too, kind of. I know knives. And that question of Teresa's has got an edge on it.

"I mean, do that," she says, "and your mom'd start speaking in tongues."

"I'm just gonna talk to her, then hook up with you guys."

"I'd watch your step with Mary Ann if I were you. I was surfing the Net the other night, and I'm pretty sure I saw her on that Naked Nurses Who Kill for Kicks site. She was the one with the deadly bedpan."

"Very funny. See you in a little bit."

I'm not like Larry and Teresa. I have to do stuff. I can't just sit like that naked guy with his chin on his fist and think. So I go look in the Volvo (okay, it's just barely a Volvo now, but it used to be), and there's Larry's Oreos and Teresa's dictionary and my portable radio so I can get the games from U of I.

I grab some kindling and logs out from under the tarp and build a fire right where we always do. It starts slow and smoky at the bottom, then speeds up. I'd like to build fires for a living.

I take off my down vest, roll up my sleeves, and start chopping wood. I'm good at that, too. I've got a sharp ax and a wedge. I'm strong for a point guard. Lean and mean. I show that old log no mercy.

"Hey, woodsman!"

I'm panting and sweaty. My heart is going boom- da-boom. My lungs feel big and clean. I don't want to stop, so I don't for a minute. Then I say it: "Hi, Mary Ann."

"Cool fire."

I lay the ax on my vest because I don't want to forget it when I leave. "Do you believe what they're doing to this place?" I point. "That old Volvo used to be a stagecoach and a spaceship-"

"It's a wreck now."

Mary Ann took that stud out of her tongue for Christmas, but she's still a little punked out in her tiny skirt, Doc Martens, ripped stockings (not the smooth dressed-up-for-church kind but the rough stripper kind), and, naturally, purple-and-green hair.

She asks, "Want to smoke?"

I tell her, "Maybe one little hit wouldn't hurt."

She carries joints in a flat tin box with a jaguar on the top. I watch her choose one, going kind of eenie-meenie-minie-moe. She lights up, takes a huge lungful, settles down in one of the broken-down chairs, passes me the spliff.

The dope really helps. Inside of thirty seconds, those piercings in her eyebrows kind of shimmer and her long earrings look like tinsel.

I tell her, "I was shooting hoops about half an hour ago, and I swear to god I could not miss. I've been in the zone before but not like that. Have you ever felt like you could do no wrong?"

Her knees are kind of chapped from the cold weather, and there's a scab on the left one, like when we were seven, everybody got skates for Christmas, and she kept falling down.

She doesn't look at me when she says, "I just got another D in pharmacology. I could flunk out of community college. How pathetic is that?"

"How many exams are there?"

"All semester? Like, five, probably."

"Did you study or was it just really hard?"

Mary Ann can be pretty, but she's not now. "What do you know about trying hard?"

"Hey, I try."

She shakes her head. "Bullshit. Teresa and Larry help you with everything."

"We study together is all. Why don't you do that?"

She exhales my way. "I don't get along with my classmates, okay? They're, like, intense. They never want to party or do anything except look through a microscope. And they dress weird."

I can't help it. I start to laugh. She's mad for about four seconds, then she does, too. Partly it's the weed, partly it's just funny.

"Sorry," she says finally, "about what I said. I know you study. I'm just jealous or something." She flounces her little skirt. "I need a new look. I need a new life. Everybody loves my mom at the hospital, okay? She is, like, you know, Super Nurse. So of course I'm supposed to ace everything, get my cap, and go to work right beside her." She doesn't want to exhale, so her voice is kind of squeaky. "That's a lot of pressure."

I nod. "Yeah, my mom, too. High standards and all that."

"No kidding. And then there's, you know, these guys I run with, and all they talk about is how empty materialism is, but one of them's got a two-hundred-dollar Marilyn Manson wristwatch. Is that some kind of irony I don't get, or is it just stupid?"

I shrug. "Sounds stupid to me."

She leans toward the fire like people do. She just wants to get warm, but with her hands out like that, it looks like she's trying to push something back. She asks, "When that old car was a spaceship, where were you going?"

"The planet Ampara-this place Larry made up. All kinds of stuff to eat, sunshine all the time, no parents, and if you got bored you just reorganized your cells and were somebody else for a while."

She grins. "I should do that. I should reorganize my cells into somebody who studies."

"You got good grades last year when you were a senior."

Copyright © 2005 by Ron Koertge

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,
including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be mailed to the following address: Permissions Department,
Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

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First Chapter

I am hot! Nothing but net from everywhere. Okay, it's my driveway and nobody's got his hand in my face, but this is amazing. Fifteen in a row, the last one from the middle of the street. I wish that jerk who wrote Slow release, slow feet on a scouting report could see me now.

When I was little, I slept with my basketball. Mom's got a picture of me in my Spidey pajamas, both arms around my first Rawlings. Maybe I'm not the fastest guy in the world, but nobody takes the ball away from me.

I wish I didn't have to meet Mary Ann. Or maybe I just wish I didn't have to meet her in the pasture. I for sure can't go until I miss. No way am I stopping when I'm on a run like this.

Well...

Nobody could have made that last one. Now I can trudge down there. Up Huron Street, cut past Mr. Denby's house; go by the falling-down-on-itself shed where Mr. Tieman kept plow horses about a thousand years ago, cross the barbed wire fence, then pick up the path that zigzags down toward the little stream Teresa used to pretend was the Nile.

Oh, man. The view from here used to be so cool: up to my ankles in fescue, big stand of maple trees, and a few cows with those black-and-white sides like seat covers.

And now? More little stakes with more orange ribbons. I come down here at night, pull them up, and throw them away. Next morning they're back. What do they do-multiply in the dark? Now they're almost to the Volvo. Our Volvo.

I dial Larry on my new cell. I point like he was right beside me. "Can you believe this?"

"It's not even ten a.m., Elliot. I'm vulnerable. I can believe anything."

"I'm down in the pasture. Waiting for Mary Ann. What do you thinkwould happen if I laid down in front of the bulldozers?"

"That's lay down, Elliot, and anyway they'd run over you. Did you finish your Gatsby essay?"

"Teresa's proofing it. Listen, Mary Ann's on her way, but where are you going to be in twenty minutes?"

"Twenty minutes? The girls on The View are right: Romance is dead."

"She said she just wants to talk."

"I'll be here for a little while. I'm watching this movie on HBO."

"I'm gonna call Teresa. I'll tell her to meet me at your house, okay? We'll do something."

"Don't we always?"

I hit the little End button to finish the call. Larry's always watching a movie. Or part of one, anyway. He's funny that way. We've been friends forever, though. Me, him, and Teresa. They're the only ones I've got in my phone book.

I punch #2 and don't even give her a chance to say anything. "Hey, have you seen the pasture?"

"Hello to you, too."

"Well, have you seen it?"

"Sure, Larry and I tried to figure out how big the lots are. There's either going to be sixteen castles with room for a few serfs or two hundred and thirty huts with a hog wallow."

"This has been our place since we were kids."

"Honey, if it's your childhood you're worried about, I've got about a thousand pictures of you in war paint, brandishing a bow and arrow. And another fifty of Larry squatting by a fire, stirring imaginary maize in an imaginary pot."

"You know, we should do something. What if we burned the Volvo? What if we burned all our stuff?"

"Arson's always fun."

"Hey, you want to hang out at Larry's in a little bit? Maybe twenty minutes? I gotta meet Mary Ann, but-"

"You're not inviting her to your birthday party, are you?"

My dad's a butcher, and I am, too, kind of. I know knives. And that question of Teresa's has got an edge on it.

"I mean, do that," she says, "and your mom'd start speaking in tongues."

"I'm just gonna talk to her, then hook up with you guys."

"I'd watch your step with Mary Ann if I were you. I was surfing the Net the other night, and I'm pretty sure I saw her on that Naked Nurses Who Kill for Kicks site. She was the one with the deadly bedpan."

"Very funny. See you in a little bit."

I'm not like Larry and Teresa. I have to do stuff. I can't just sit like that naked guy with his chin on his fist and think. So I go look in the Volvo (okay, it's just barely a Volvo now, but it used to be), and there's Larry's Oreos and Teresa's dictionary and my portable radio so I can get the games from U of I.

I grab some kindling and logs out from under the tarp and build a fire right where we always do. It starts slow and smoky at the bottom, then speeds up. I'd like to build fires for a living.

I take off my down vest, roll up my sleeves, and start chopping wood. I'm good at that, too. I've got a sharp ax and a wedge. I'm strong for a point guard. Lean and mean. I show that old log no mercy.

"Hey, woodsman!"

I'm panting and sweaty. My heart is going boom- da-boom. My lungs feel big and clean. I don't want to stop, so I don't for a minute. Then I say it: "Hi, Mary Ann."

"Cool fire."

I lay the ax on my vest because I don't want to forget it when I leave. "Do you believe what they're doing to this place?" I point. "That old Volvo used to be a stagecoach and a spaceship-"

"It's a wreck now."

Mary Ann took that stud out of her tongue for Christmas, but she's still a little punked out in her tiny skirt, Doc Martens, ripped stockings (not the smooth dressed-up-for-church kind but the rough stripper kind), and, naturally, purple-and-green hair.

She asks, "Want to smoke?"

I tell her, "Maybe one little hit wouldn't hurt."

She carries joints in a flat tin box with a jaguar on the top. I watch her choose one, going kind of eenie-meenie-minie-moe. She lights up, takes a hugee lungful, settles down in one of the broken-down chairs, passes me the spliff.

The dope really helps. Inside of thirty seconds, those piercings in her eyebrows kind of shimmer and her long earrings look like tinsel.

I tell her, "I was shooting hoops about half an hour ago, and I swear to god I could not miss. I've been in the zone before but not like that. Have you ever felt like you could do no wrong?"

Her knees are kind of chapped from the cold weather, and there's a scab on the left one, like when we were seven, everybody got skates for Christmas, and she kept falling down.

She doesn't look at me when she says, "I just got another D in pharmacology. I could flunk out of community college. How pathetic is that?"

"How many exams are there?"

"All semester? Like, five, probably."

"Did you study or was it just really hard?"

Mary Ann can be pretty, but she's not now. "What do you know about trying hard?"

"Hey, I try."

She shakes her head. "Bullshit. Teresa and Larry help you with everything."

"We study together is all. Why don't you do that?"

She exhales my way. "I don't get along with my classmates, okay? They're, like, intense. They never want to party or do anything except look through a microscope. And they dress weird."

I can't help it. I start to laugh. She's mad for about four seconds, then she does, too. Partly it's the weed, partly it's just funny.

"Sorry," she says finally, "about what I said. I know you study. I'm just jealous or something." She flounces her little skirt. "I need a new look. I need a new life. Everybody loves my mom at the hospital, okay? She is, like, you know, Super Nurse. So of course I'm supposed to ace everything, get my cap, and go to work right beside her." She doesn't want to exhale, so her voice is kind of squeaky. "That's a lot of pressure."

I nod. "Yeah, my mom, too. High standards and all that."

"No kidding. And then there's, you know, these guys I run with, and all they talk about is how empty materialism is, but one of them's got a two-hundred-dollar Marilyn Manson wristwatch. Is that some kind of irony I don't get, or is it just stupid?"

I shrug. "Sounds stupid to me."

She leans toward the fire like people do. She just wants to get warm, but with her hands out like that, it looks like she's trying to push something back. She asks, "When that old car was a spaceship, where were you going?"

"The planet Ampara-this place Larry made up. All kinds of stuff to eat, sunshine all the time, no parents, and if you got bored you just reorganized your cells and were somebody else for a while."

She grins. "I should do that. I should reorganize my cells into somebody who studies."

"You got good grades last year when you were a senior."

Copyright © 2005 by Ron Koertge

All rights reserved.
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2011

    Pretty Good

    Ok, so it doesn't have the WOW! factor and the ending was not what I expected, but that's not what this book is about. This is the kind of book that you can skip to any part of it and love it. I can start on any page today and start again on another tomorrow. Koertge has done a great job with just writing about teenagers and how scattered a "sure" future can really be. A good representation of adolescence.

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  • Posted June 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    so gooood!

    Wow I really loved this one. The three main characters are well-written and I can't help but love Gorgeous Elliot, Gay Larry, and BFF-Loving Teresa. The only thing that sucks is it's short. But I don't feel like it's missing anything. I'm just sad it's over :)
    This book is funny and cute, and the ending is perfect. It's the way it should be, but at the same time, leaves you with the necessary amount of possibility about the other great alternative conclusion.
    The plot isn't amazing or anything- it's rather predictable actually. But I'm so in love with the characters and their interactions!
    Overall, it's a short book so if this book caught your eye at all, then just try it!

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  • Posted October 29, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Quick Read

    This is the story of three inseparable teens about to graduate high school, each struggling with their own personal demons, but finding solace in their friendship. The plan is move away to California--all they need is each other and their first and last month's rent. <BR/>By the end of this short teen novel, each character has confronted a potential tragedy and exhibits a bit of personal growth. The characters remind me of those in Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat books, though more simplisticly drawn...without as much of that Californian hipster vibe

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  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

    Graduation offers the promise of the future, but that same future offers the promise of uncertainty and fear. Three friends are about to graduate. They have plans. There are the plans made with the support and dreams of their families. There is the secret plan known only to the three of them, of an escape to California. And then, there are the separate plans, sometimes made privately, even subconsciously. <BR/><BR/>Boy - Larry is smart, but he's also gay. His friends understand, but others - not so much. Struggling to be sure he really is what he is takes up most of Larry's time and effort. Maybe California would answer his questions. Maybe not ... <BR/><BR/>Girl - Teresa is a straight student, but she struggles with issues from the past. She's never totally understood why her mother left her. Doesn't a girl need a mother? Her father is too busy with his "Tiny Town" hobby project in the basement to really understand what she needs. Her friends understand her pain. Maybe California would offer her a fresh start. Maybe not ... <BR/><BR/>Boy - Elliot is going to play ball for U of I. It's his father's dream. Elliot's dream is being a butcher in his father's store. Since he is not the student that his friends are, the academic side of college scares Elliot. Maybe going to California would take U of I out of the picture. Maybe not ... <BR/><BR/>Koertge tells his story from alternating viewpoints, allowing readers to see into the minds and fears of the trio. The struggle to understand one's life in the past, present, and future is reflected in Larry, Teresa, and Elliot. There is something for everyone in BOY GIRL BOY.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2008

    Better Than I Would Have Expected

    I thought this was an excellent book, but there were some prbolems i had with it. One was that it was to short and should have been longer because of everything they were going to do and because of the characters lives. Another was the ending. Ifelt it should have been played out more so we know more about what would have gone on. Although I thought there were some problems, there were things I liked about the book as well, the characters. I thought that what they were, how their lives were, and what happened was extremely realistic. Also the whole plot and what went on I liked and was probably my favorite part of the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2008

    Decent, Not Great

    I read this book expecting it to be as good as 'Stoner & Spaz'. However, I felt it didn't live up to my expectations. The characters are well-developed, and it seemed promising. The only problem I had was that the book seemed way too short to hold everything it did. If it had been longer, with more of an actual plot, I may have enjoyed it more. It felt like everything was crammed into it, and the book finished too abruptly for me.

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