NMRLS Youth Services Book Review
Quill & Quire
"Frank and courageous fiction for young people...Goobie handles [her characters'] sexual feelings and actions with sensitivity but complete candour."
"This is an important novel...Highly recommended."
VOYA - Jing Cao
Goobie's Hello, Groin thrusts readers into the tumultuous inner life of a Canadian teenage girl, leaving them to weather the mental, emotional, and sexual storms of her mind, heart, and yes, groin. This story of sixteen-year-old Dylan's struggle with identity and sexuality, friendship and love, is at times brilliant and funny and at times tedious, but so are the thoughts of a teen. The pace and appeal of the story fluctuate, but Goobie's work is indisputably honest throughout.
VOYA - Diane Emge Colson
Sixteen-year-old Dylan has a secret: She is in love with her best girlfriend, Joq. Never mind that Joq is deeply involved in a hot relationship with a lascivious boyfriend. Never mind that Dylan herself is dating one of the sweetest guys in their class. Dylan's most intimate moments with her boyfriend simply cannot compete with the sexual heat she experiences when she is with Joq. Sometimes Dylan suspects that Joq might feel the same way. But she will not take the emotional risk involved in finding out, especially considering the way lesbians are tortured at her school. Readers of Goobie's earlier books, especially The Lottery (Orca, 2002/VOYA February 2003), are familiar with the brutal atmosphere embedded in her fictitious high schools. Unfortunately that effect is achieved in this novel through superficial characterization and lackluster dialogue rather than Goobie's trademark supernatural suspense. The mean girls and lewd boys who populate Dylan's high school represent little more than social predators with an intense interest in Dylan's sex life. A novel on the very real terrors of "coming out" is always welcome news for the silent community of gay teens, but the outcome of Dylan's story is so upbeat that it borders on the surreal. It is not one of Goobie's best books, nor is it one of the best books on the topic. Readers would do better to pick up Maureen Johnson's The Bermudez Triangle (Razorbill/Penguin Putnam, 2004/VOYA October 2004), Julie Anne Peters's Keeping You a Secret (Little, Brown, 2003/VOYA June 2003), or Sara Ryan's Empress of the World (Viking, 2001/VOYA August 2001) for stories about girls in love.
Children's Literature - Melyssa Malinowski
After designing a "controversial" display for her school library, Dylan's world turns upside down. Inspired by a book read in English class, censored in the display, her sexuality comes into question. The problem is that Dylan has had these questions about herself already. What's worse is that she's just not clicking with her amazing boyfriend, Cam, and finds herself fantasizing about her best friend, Jocelyn. To make matters worse, she is being stalked by a girl from another school over a very accidental drunken kiss. In the end, Dylan must decide who she really is and discover how the groin's true meaning contains wisdom and dignity. The subject matter of sexuality and dignity is handled quite well in this book. There are references to the groin and masturbation, but nothing graphic or obscene. Chocked full of angsty feeling and teenage issues, this is definitely a "girl power" sort of novel, about identity and self discovery, recommended for high school exclusively.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Wanting to be "normal," 16-year-old Dylan Kowolski tries to hide her homosexuality and to have sexual feelings for her boyfriend, Cam. All her fears and feelings reach the boiling point when she kisses a girl from another school at a dance. Interspersed throughout the story is a subplot involving the school librarian and the censorship of a book display that Dylan created. When the teen finally tells her family members that she is gay, they show unconditional love and acceptance. When trick-or-treating that year, her sister even wants to dress up as a lesbian. Her best friend from grade school has had a similar awakening and Dylan and Joc now become partners. Even Dylan's ex-boyfriend is understanding and accepting. The story seems a little too fairy-talelike at this point, with all of the loose endings tied up neatly. A small reality check is Sheila, the girl Dylan kissed, whose family is not at all accepting of her sexuality. The raw language and sexually explicit scenes are appropriate for these characters as developed by the author. Teens who are experiencing emotional upheaval themselves and who don't have supportive families will gain from the personal validation that the author provides. As in her previous novels, Goobie stresses the value of all individuals, and their right to their own space in this world.-Sheilah Kosco, Bastrop Public Library, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Read an Excerpt
"Anyway, why does that part of your body have to be treated like a wild animal that should be caged and controlled? Why can't it be about decency and honor, and what's true and good? And wise," I added defiantly, crossing my arms over my chest.