If You Loved Me: True-to-Life Stories from Hamilton High

If You Loved Me: True-to-Life Stories from Hamilton High

4.8 8
by Marilyn Reynolds

At 15, Lauren Riley promised herself that she would not mess up her life and would stay away from drugs and sex. But two years later, her boyfriend Brandon is pressuring her to forget that promise. Both her parents are lost to her through long-time drug addiction, but through her writing, Lauren tries to deal with her problems and discovers a deeper strength.


At 15, Lauren Riley promised herself that she would not mess up her life and would stay away from drugs and sex. But two years later, her boyfriend Brandon is pressuring her to forget that promise. Both her parents are lost to her through long-time drug addiction, but through her writing, Lauren tries to deal with her problems and discovers a deeper strength. Based on the reality of everyday high school life, and critiqued by high school students as it was written, this book accurately portrays and confronts the issues of drugs, race, sex, first love, and finding self-expression.

Editorial Reviews

Lauren discovers that life is never simple in this truetolife series novel in which she must learn to balance the good things in life with the bad. An abandoned child brought up by her loving grandmother, Lauren cannot understand how this same woman could have raised a drug addict. Her boyfriend, Tyler, loves her yet pressures her to break her promise to abstain from sex. When he has sex with another girl, Tyler claims he did it because he loves Lauren. Is this respect or betrayal? Her best friend confides a horrible secret that Lauren shares with Tyler. When the friend finds out that Lauren has betrayed her trust, Lauren begs for forgiveness and another chance. These realistic issues and Reynolds's authentic language will make this book broadly popular with teens. The story engages the reader in a way similar to how Chris Crutcher captures real issues and emotions in his novels such as Chinese Handcuffs (Dell, 1989/VOYA June 1989). The drawbacks to this novel are inherent in using authentic situationsReynolds repeats images to express love, such as squeezing a hand three times to mean "I Love You", and falls prey to trite sentimentality in setting up the relationship between Lauren and Tyler. Though the ending is not surprising, it does bring a satisfying resolution that helps readers deal with the complex nature of love and friendship. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P J S (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 1999, Morning Glory Press, Ages 13 to 18, 224p, $15.95, $8.95 Reviewer: Ann T. ReddyDamon
Library Journal
Gr 7-10-Another entry in the series about teens struggling with realistic issues. Unfortunately, this one suffers from overkill. Lauren, a biracial senior who lives with her perfectly understanding grandmother, is in love with her handsome boyfriend, Tyler, but has made a promise to herself to avoid sexual intercourse until marriage. She is afraid of disease (after all, her friend Amber contracted herpes during her very first-and only-sexual encounter) and pregnancy. Lauren is against drug use because she was born addicted, and she harbors hatred toward her mother, who died during an explosion while she was manufacturing methamphetamines in a makeshift kitchen lab. She is purposeful and intolerant of others, and her whole world falls apart when she discovers Tyler making love to a classmate. However, he insists that his motives were altruistic; he wanted to remove the pressure of sex from their relationship and, besides, he slept with a young woman who had been sexually abused by her father and now wants to see if she can enjoy sex with a man. For some insane reason, this makes sense to Lauren and she begins to reestablish a relationship with him. By chance, former drug addicts come to her school to talk to the students and-surprise-one of them is her father. Lauren begins to loosen her hold on the hatred she feels for her parents and to empathize with their addictions. Reynolds is a perceptive author, but this title is not the best representation of her work.-Susan R. Farber, Greenburgh Public Library, Elmsford, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Morning Glory Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
Hamilton High series
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
12 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Marilyn Reynolds is the author of Baby Help, But What About Me?, Too Soon for Jeff, Detour for Emmy, Telling, and Beyond Dreams. Her essays have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, and San Francisco Chronicle. She lives in Gold River, California.

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If You Loved Me: True-to-Life Stories from Hamilton High 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
love love love this book! makes you feel like you know them, I hate how towards the end it leaves you wanting more to read 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i have read this book soooooo many times and i absolutely love it!!! and all of her other books ive read. i just wish i could get it on my nook..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book I thought it was great. It felt so real. At the end when Lauren decides to forgive Tylor and give him one more chance because she thought that it was her fault that he had cheated on her. Made me really mad I think that if a girl wants to wait and if the man that she's with loves her as much as Tylor said he did. Well then he should of just waited for her and respect her decision.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I feel that this book right along with her other books that Renyolds wrote are very good. I feel that she should keep on writing and I'll keep on reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story If You Loved Me was about a young teenage girl who had a difficult life. She grew up with no mother and no father. She was raised by her grandmother. Her mother was a drug addict and her father was in his own little world, and he used drugs with Lauren's mother. [Marcia].Lauren had a hard time finding out about love. What love was and what love was about. First she went to her best friend Amber who was a excellent frend to Lauren. She loved Lauren very much. Lauren still felt that she needed love. I guess the love that Amber was dishing out to Lauren was not the kind of love that Lauren as looking for even though she cared about Amber a lot. then Lauren met this young boy named Tyler at his job. He worked at a flower shop. It ws like love at first sight. Lauren and Tyler dated for a long time. The felationship was good for a long time. Lauren even came to see as though Tyler loned her and she also felt that she loved him. Eventually, Tyler decided to ceat on Lauren and that made her question thier love for each other. Now for Lauren's grandmother. Lauren knew that her grandmother loved er very much. It's like unconditional love. Her grandma took her in with no regrets at all, and did all she could do for her. As a child, Lauren was abandond by her parents, and as a result of that, shecarried much animosity throughout her life time which often made her qestion one's love or her. I feel that this book was very good. Some parts was a bit harsh and unbelievable, but I made it through. It was like I was reading about my own life when I read this book. This is the bset book I HAVE READ IN A LONG TIME. Laurened lived a hard life and I did to but, we both are making it.So I can relae to her in many different ways. I would definitely recommend this book to another person. I would recommend this book because it is an excllent story and I do believe that it will change a lot of peoples ways of thinking, and how others handle different situations that may comfront them in thier near future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read this book twice and cried. It made me soo mad when Tyler could do that to Lauren I dont care how much he loved her. I cried for Lauren, I know its just a book and she's just a character but the book made it so real. I would recomend this book to any one. Very good!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book that I could read over and over again. No words can describe how great this book is. The way that Lauren and Tyler act is very believable This book made made me think and dream about my future.