Fifteen Love

( 7 )

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Mia thinks boys are immature. They only talk about cars and sports. They only think about sex.

Will has no idea what girls talk about. He wishes he were a fly on the wall. He wishes he had a tape recorder and a hidden microphone ....

Fifteen Love is a funny up-and-down story about a boy and a girl, a viola and a tennis racquet; about family and friends, flirting and true love.

Mia, a violist, and ...

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Overview

Mia thinks boys are immature. They only talk about cars and sports. They only think about sex.

Will has no idea what girls talk about. He wishes he were a fly on the wall. He wishes he had a tape recorder and a hidden microphone ....

Fifteen Love is a funny up-and-down story about a boy and a girl, a viola and a tennis racquet; about family and friends, flirting and true love.

Mia, a violist, and Will, a tennis player, each relate their feelings about each other, school, friends, and family troubles as they struggle to understand the opposite sex and to survive being fifteen.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Alternating the points of view of two smitten 15-year-olds, Australian author Corbet (The Passenger Seat) humorously displays the painful side of falling in love for the first time. Will, a tennis player, and Mia, a violist, reveal to readers their attraction to each other from the outset. But every time their paths converge, disaster seems to follow. Initially, Will is struck dumb whenever he runs into Mia in the school corridors ("Thank you for calling Men Who Can't Speak. We have placed you in a very long line," Will thinks to himself). After Will eventually finds his tongue and asks Mia to a tennis tournament, miscommunications turn the first date into a comedy of errors. Ironically, Will starts dating Mia's (ex-) best friend, Vanessa, while Mia (having discovered that her father is having an affair) gives up on men altogether ("It's official.... All men are evil," she declares to her mother). In the end, it is Will's feisty paraplegic brother, Dave, and Mia's mischievous beagle, Harriet, who (accidentally) save the day, bringing the teens together for an all's-well-that-ends-well conclusion. Besides providing witty dialogue and hilarious misfortunes, the author adroitly invents characters complicated enough to be interesting and genuine enough to draw sympathy from readers. Anyone who has experienced the stumbling blocks along the path to love will appreciate the awkward first steps of Mia's and Will's romance. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This is a funny story about a boy and a girl, Mia and Will, and their thoughts about each other. Mia's viola and family and friends are a big part of her life. A tennis racket and family are a big part of Will's life. School, friends and dealing with family make things somewhat difficult for these teenagers. Everyone going through or having gone through those trying teen times can relate to and will find amusing the scenarios of Mia's and Will's thinking about each other. There are some twists and turns before getting to the end of the story; and despite all of the trials and mishaps, Mia and Will get together and find that they have common interests as well as some romance. 2003, Walker,
— Naomi Butler
VOYA
Mia is a violist who constantly plays second fiddle to her best friend, Vanessa. She is part of the "in" crowd but feels like an outsider. Mia's family also is coming apart at the seams. Her once-happy home life is threatened by her father's "late nights at work." Mia's thoughts about men are that they are suspect at best. She thinks that all her male classmates think about is sports and sex. Will is one of those classmates, and he fits Mia's description to some extent-he is a seemingly driven star tennis player. Will also has some of his own problems at home: His younger brother is wheelchair-bound, and Will's tennis coach father is extremely demanding, taking all the fun out of the game. To complicate things further, Will likes Mia; Mia also likes Will. Do they tell each other and live happily ever after? Of course not. Mia and Will relate their sides of the story in alternating chapters that help the reader to gain insight into their homes, relationships, and insecurities. This love story is not a mushy one, and both voices are spot-on throughout the book. Secondary characters such as Will's brother, Dave, and Mia's trampy friend, Vanessa, are just as well drawn. Will's to-do lists and the story line in which Mia gets back at her father through her viola are true gems. Both humorous and heartbreaking, this solid read will be a winner among teens. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Walker, 186p,
— Kimberly Paone
School Library Journal
Gr 8-10-Corbet alternates between the voices of Mia Foley and Will Holland, both 15. Her world is turning upside down as she discovers that her father is having an affair. Her anger and frustration surface and affect not only her home life, but also her social interactions and her performance playing the viola. Will's younger brother was always the athlete, but now he is in a wheelchair and it's up to Will to live out the fantasies of his brother and his coach/father on the tennis court. The story is witty and fresh; the internal dialogue of each character is on par with the thoughts of a typical teenager. Mia's friends are fickle and self-consumed, but not destructively so, and their interactions are authentic. Both characters volley between liking one another and being confused, and their emotions are heartfelt and honest. Parents are developed candidly, but not unfairly. Because of the conversational narrative, the story will be a hit with reluctant as well as general readers. One caveat: Corbet sometimes chooses not to finish the word of a proper name or store ("-when K**** did her concert," "Vanessa wouldn't be caught dead in T---," etc.), which becomes tiresome. Otherwise, the novel is appealing on many levels-it is funny, quirky, and satisfyingly romantic.-Delia Fritz, Mercersburg Academy, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
If love in tennis is a zero score, what is it in real life? As Will Holland's Encyclopedia of Tennis tells him, "You can learn a lot from the way people move." And that is what Corbet's comedy of teenage manners is all about: paying attention to each other's moves, wondering what the other is thinking, and, finally, learning to respect the other's game. Will and Mia Foley, in alternating turns, like tennis players on a court, wonder about each other, tell their own stories of friends, families, fortunes, and misfortunes, and gradually find each other. Depth is added to a light story by action apart from the game: Will's struggles in tournaments, Mia's struggles with her viola, Will's brother Dave, paralyzed in a diving accident years before, and Mia's uneasy relationship with Vanessa and Renata, her popular friends. Despite discussions of bra sizes, toe-sucking, and a seventh-grade girl who wants Will to autograph her underwear after he wins the state championship, this is a light, well-intentioned outing with nothing too rude and lots of good humor. Though the characters' voices are sometimes as flat as Mia feels, good use is made of dialogue, imaginary conversations, Will's to-do lists, and viola jokes left on Mia's locker. Eventually, Will and Mia play a good match, are a good match, and meet at the net. Fans of Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicolson series will find familiar turf here. (Fiction. 12+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802777140
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 4/28/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.02 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

As a teenager, Robert Corbet constantly fell in love with blond girls named Michelle. At college, he always fell for clever girls with long velvet dresses and short, dark hair. Then he met a girl in pink overalls who rode a motorcycle. After a long, agonizing courtship, they bought a station wagon, had three children, and lived happily ever after. Robert lives in Melbourne, Australia. He is also the author of Shelf Life for Walker & Company.

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Read an Excerpt

fifteen love


By Robert Corbet

Walker & Company

Copyright © 2003 Robert Corbet
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0802788513


Chapter One

Mia

Boys are immature. They only use 1 percent of their brain. They only ever talk about cars or sports. They only ever think about sex. I read somewhere that boys think about sex-on average-once every fifteen seconds! That's four times a minute! Two hundred and forty times per hour! I checked on my calculator-it's a total of five thousand, seven hundred, and sixty times a day, assuming boys also dream about sex.... If this is true, it is a real worry. Fifteen seconds is barely enough time to say hello. No wonder boys never make any sense when you talk to them.

There is one boy at our school who is not like the others. Will Holland definitely has something on his mind. Most lunchtimes he sits alone on the grass, wearing a tracksuit and looking very out of place. He eats his lunch, then he lies back on the grass, staring up at the sky for ages and ages. What does he see up there? What does he think about?

Is he interested in meteorology?

Is he worried about global warming?

Is he watching out for UFOs?

Will Holland is a mystery. My friends say he's either an escaped criminal or else he's suffering from some incurable, highly infectious disease. They think just because Will doesn't hang out with other boys, he must be hiding something. But I think he'sinteresting. I mean, boys don't have to play basketball, do they? They don't have to be the kind of nerd who lusts after computer-generated sex goddesses with breasts made of high-density steel, and slobbers uncontrollably whenever a real girl walks past. Do they?

Will Holland isn't like that. I'm sure he has other things on his mind. I swear, even if I had a figure like Lara Croft, he wouldn't even notice me.

Will

Mia Foley is not as pretty as she thinks she is. Without her long, dark hair-which she keeps swishing around as if she's in some kind of shampoo commercial-she would be quite average-looking. Without her big brown eyes and long lashes, her smooth white skin and rosy red lips, her beautiful smile and her perfect teeth, Mia Foley would be very ordinary.

Every lunchtime she and her friends sit together on their seat. Every lunchtime it's the exact same seat, as if there's a plaque that says "Reserved for Mia Foley and her two bimbo buddies," then below in small print, "Boys, please line up and wait your turn." Every day I see new boys come along to try out. They stand there with their hands in their pockets, pretending it's all very casual, when really they're pumped up and trying to make an impression. Then the hands come out of the pockets and the circus starts:

Roll up! Roll up! Pre-senting the a-mazing, the a-stounding, the death-defying des-per-adoes! They juggle! They swing! They spin basketballs on their fingertips! They throw things! They fight! Just sit back and enjoy the show, ladies, until the tightrope walker falls flat on his face and the clowns come to take him away.

Mia and her friends like the attention. They smile and laugh, but they never ask the boys to sit down and join them. In the end, their eyes start to glaze over, and it's time for the circus to pack up and leave.

When the boys have gone, the gifts huddle together and talk in low voices.

I have no idea what they talk about.

I wish I were a fly on the wall.

I wish I had a tape recorder and a hidden microphone....

Mia

"The tracksuit is watching you again," says Renata.

"No, he isn't."

"Mia! Are you blind?" says Vanessa.

"Just nearsighted, remember?"

"Is he that guy you said was kind of cute?" says Renata.

"I never said that."

"He's okay-looking. I'd lose the tracksuit, though," says Vanessa.

"Lose it? He lives in it. I don't think he owns any other clothes," says Renata.

"Pee-ew! Stinky!" says Vanessa.

"Give him a break."

"I mean, a tracksuit is for inside the house, right?" says Renata.

"I've heard some people do actually play sports in them," says Vanessa.

"I think he wears a tennis shirt underneath," says Renata.

"That's a worry," says Vanessa.

"Maybe he's trying to get in the Guinness Book of World Records," says Renata.

"Will Holland, record holder for the world's stinkiest tracksuit!" says Vanessa.

Vanessa and Renata are my two best friends. We share our lunches. We share our tampons. And we share our troubles. Mostly, our troubles are boy troubles, and mostly they're Vanessa's boy troubles, because it's Vanessa the boys are mostly interested in.

Vanessa is a big flirt, to put it politely. She wears cardigans that are three sizes too small, just to show off her pierced belly button and so she can push right up close to guys, as if she's trying to pop the buttons. Vanessa has this way of looking at guys that she does without thinking. She does it to guys she's interested in, but she also does it to complete strangers-guys on the train who are ten years older. Hence the boy troubles.

(My mom says I'm allowed to get my belly button pierced, but my dad says I'm not. He says there are "medical reasons," and just because he's a doctor, my mom believes him. The truth is, my father thinks having a pierced belly button is the same as having sex. Diagnosis: AIDS and/or an unwanted pregnancy. But I don't care. One day, I'll just go out and do it anyway-get my belly button pierced, I mean.)

Vanessa has two kinds of boy troubles. Either it's two guys fighting over her, or else one guy who's been driven to the edge and can't help himself. Renata and I try giving Vanessa a subtle hint. We tell her to tone it down if she wants guys to leave her alone, but then she gets really offended and won't talk to us. Vanessa is unpredictable when it comes to guys. She can spend weeks playing hard to get with a gorgeous boy, then suddenly go out with a serial killer.

Renata is like Vanessa in some ways, but in other ways she's the exact opposite. Renata is just as pretty as Vanessa and goes to the same trouble with her hair, but she's not so confident. Renata is Yugoslavian, and her parents are pretty strict. She's been living here for five years, but she still won't talk about the place where she was born. My dad told me Yugoslavia doesn't exist anymore. It's not a real country, he said. But if anyone ever mentions Yugoslavia-or Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, any of those places-Renata goes a bit pale. I think some of her family must have got killed or something.

Renata says Vanessa is good for us. She's always telling us how nice we look and encouraging us to be more upfront with boys. Vanessa is the "in girl" at our school, so there's never any shortage of boys around. The trouble is, boys are always at their silliest whenever they're trying to impress girls.

Will

Thank you for calling Cosmo Girl! magazine. Please press (1) if you wish to subscribe. Press (2) if you wish to know what girls talk about. Press (3) if you only want to know what "a certain girl" talks about. Press (4) if you really just want to meet "a certain girl," but have no idea how to go about it.

Should I subscribe to Cosmo Girl! magazine? Or should I buy a sample copy first? I could buy it from the supermarket. I could slip it in between the Nutri-Grain and the Granola Crunch, so that no one would even see it.

"It's for my sister," I could say, if anyone asked.

Except that I don't have a sister.

If I subscribed, the magazine would be mailed once a month, hopefully in a plain brown envelope, clearly addressed to me, so that no one else would open it.

Because I do have a brother, and I don't want him getting the wrong idea.

I have heard that parts of Cosmo Girl! magazine can be quite intimate. I have heard that the dating sections are extremely intimate! I have glanced at the letters where girls reveal their innermost secrets. I want to know how girls think, but my real reason for buying Cosmo Girl! magazine is less sleazy than that. I need Cosmo Girl! magazine for research purposes. I need to know what girls talk about. If I'm going to talk to Mia Foley one day, I need to be prepared.

Mia Foley is an up-to-date kind of girl. She dresses like the girls in Cosmo Girl! magazine. She is easily beautiful enough to be on the cover of Cosmo Girl! magazine. But that doesn't mean Mia actually reads it. And besides, Cosmo Girl! is a magazine for girls. It's all about what girls say to other girls. It's probably about boys. And if I ever meet Mia Foley, that is one subject we are definitely not going to talk about.

The trouble is, when boys talk, we talk about things. We exchange information. We are interested in the facts. Girls may not want to know about carburetors or shock-absorbers, but they are impressed by boys who know stuff. Any stuff-magnetic fields, microbiology, hydraulic engineering-it doesn't really matter what. Girls like guys who know stuff. It makes them feel comfortable. They feel like the guy has other interests, that he's not in danger of getting hopelessly obsessed about them. Stalkers, I'll bet, have very little interest in the facts.

If, and hopefully when, I do meet Mia, we should have one of those magical conversations that just click. "What a lovely day," she might say. "Yes," I would reply. "The forecast high temperature is 80 degrees, I believe." "Don't you wish it could always be this nice?" she might say. Then I would explain how the earth tilts on its axis as it moves around the sun, so that the chance of it being 80 degrees and sunny every day is pretty unlikely. "And anyway," we would both agree, "life would be pretty boring without a change of season."

Then Mia might say, "I read in Cosmo Girl! magazine how the weather affects what we feel."

"Cosmo Girl! magazine?" I would say. "Isn't that mainly for girls?"

Mia

"You did what?" I say.

"You did what?" says Renata.

Renata and I are shocked and stunned. Vanessa has truly outdone herself this time.

"I sucked his toe," she says.

"His big toe?" says Renata.

"Yes," says Vanessa.

"You took off his shoe?" I say.

"Yes," says Vanessa.

"And his sock?" says Renata.

"Of course," says Vanessa.

"Was it clean?" I ask.

"Pretty clean," says Vanessa.

"And what did he do, while you were sucking his toe?" says Renata.

"He went a bit crazy," says Vanessa. "He told me he loved me!'

"He didn't!" I say.

"But he's not even your boyfriend!" says Renata.

Vanessa hides her face in her hands. "He is now," she says, softly.

I shake my head in disbelief. Renata can't stop laughing. She has tears running down her cheeks and cramps in her stomach. There is something not quite right about the way Renata is laughing. In fact, there is something deeply disturbing about it.

Vanessa and Renata are my two best friends, but even best friends can be weird sometimes. Sucking boys' toes isn't something I want to leap into, I must admit. It might sound old-fashioned, but toe-sucking isn't something I want to rush right into. It's not something I would ever do on a first date. It's not my idea of romance. If you ask me, toe-sucking is something that should happen much later. It's something a girl should only do with someone she really loves, and only after he's had a long, soapy bath.

Will

It all started in woodshop. The teacher wasn't there yet, and my workbench was the only one with an empty seat. I was minding my own business-crushing my pencil in my vise-when in walked The Most Beautiful Girl in the Whole Wide World. There are beautiful girls in movies and in magazines, but this girl was something else. She was real! And she was coming straight at me!

The Most Beautiful Girl in the Whole Wide World sat down beside me at my workbench, as my pencil cracked loudly up the middle. She looked at me, then at my pencil. I was stumped. I didn't know what to say.

On the back of her hand she had written, "Don't forget V!" in red ballpoint.

Don't forget V!??-I have never seen anything so mysterious and exotic in all my life. But before I had any time to think about what V was, before I could think of anything to say, Mia had put on her glasses and realized where she was.

"Whoops!" she said. "Wrong room!" Then she stood up and walked out.

That was it. Forget about V. The Most Beautiful Girl in the Whole Wide World was gone. V for Vanished. When I looked at her seat, I wanted to reach across and touch it, to run my fingers across the smooth, polished wood. It was all I had left.

V for Vacant? ... Vacuum? ... Vapor? ...

It ruined my whole day. Actually, it was longer than that. Woodworking was tragic for at least another month. I made a pencil box and filled it full of broken pencils. The empty seat stayed empty, but I couldn't give up hope that Mia might make the same mistake again. I imagined she might come in and sit down on her seat again, just for old times' sake. So I guarded it, just in case.

"Is that seat taken?"

"Yeah. She'll be back soon."

Who was I kidding? Mia was never coming back.

V for Venus ... Velvet ... Visitor ...

I started checking the schedule after that, to see where Mia's classes were. Without really meaning to, I started wandering past her classrooms just to sneak a glance at her. It sounds like something a psychopath would do, I know, but I couldn't help it. And every time I saw Mia, she looked even more beautiful than I remembered. Her hair was more shiny, her face was more perfect. Until, one day, Mia looked up and saw me staring at her. I tried to smile, but she acted like she didn't even know me.

That's because she didn't even know me.

V for Victim ... V for Vegetable ...

After that, I gave up spying on Mia in class, but lunchtimes weren't so easy. I tried to act normal and just do the things you normally do, but out of the corner of my eye I was always looking out for her. If I ever did see her, or even someone who might have been her, my body felt like a robot being operated by remote control. My limbs would move in unexpected ways. My eyelids would twitch, and my neck muscles would go into spasm. I have to admit it-I had a slight problem with Mia Foley.

WHO CAN YOU TURN TO? said the poster on the library window.

Continue...


Excerpted from fifteen love by Robert Corbet Copyright © 2003 by Robert Corbet
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 27, 2011

    this book is good

    you must read this book!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2006

    Good Book

    I loved the way this book was written! It showed the male & female point of view. The ending was great too. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good read. && hearts

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2004

    Brilliant

    this was the most closes book i have read that was like real life. it gives u two different point of veiws on male and female. i think it was one of the best books i have ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2004

    Great book!

    Short and sweet, this story is bound to put a smile on your face. Mia is utterly believable while Will is just downright adorable in this romantic comedy of loving each other, hating each other and freezing up in front of each other. It details young love wonderfully, and ends in a satisfying conclusion brought together superbly by wit and humour. All in all a great yarn!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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