Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape)

Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape)

3.8 6
by Carrie Jones

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People keep changing who they are & defining themselves by their own choices, and that's cool most of the time, but not all the time. No, it's not cool all the time at all.

Belle is closing in on her last few months of high school and things are much better than they



People keep changing who they are & defining themselves by their own choices, and that's cool most of the time, but not all the time. No, it's not cool all the time at all.

Belle is closing in on her last few months of high school and things are much better than they were before. Well, almost. Belle's not too sure about all the sureness that other people seem to have about things like labels (popular, slut, jock), change (college, real adulthood, new friends, lost friends), and love (oh yeah, that). Not to mention, there's THE BIG PROBLEM with Tom and other-well, unexpected-surprises.

If you want to read more about Belle, check out Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend from Flux.

Praise for Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend

"From the first sentence of Carrie Jones' novel, I could tell that here was a bright new writer who was going to set the world of young adult letters aflame." -Kathi Appelt, award-winning poet and author

"Provocative...The author's poetic prose ably captures her heroine's emotional upheavals." -Publishers Weekly

"Jones offers an atypical perspective of the coming-out story by legitimizing the love that is not lost, but changed, when young people grow up and apart." -School Library Journal

Editorial Reviews

AGERANGE: Ages 15 to 18.

This is a sequel to Tips on Having a Gay (Ex) Boyfriend, and it ends rather abruptly, so perhaps book three will be coming along soon. The setting is a small town in Maine where everyone knows everyone else. Belle is the narrator. Her boyfriend is Tom, her ex-boyfriend is Dylan, her best friend is Emily--we met them all in the first book. It’s a few months later and Belle’s seizures have started to return. She is anxious about many things, one of which is that Tom doesn’t want to have sex with her even though it seems he does love her. Perhaps this means he doesn’t love her? But then, his parents got married early because his mother got pregnant when they were teenagers--maybe Tom is worried that will happen to him. And Em’s period is late. So, Belle buys a pregnancy test kit in a local store; and word gets out that Belle might be pregnant. (Everyone knows everything in this little town.) There is a talent show for which Belle has been writing songs to perform--she is a gifted musician. All the friends are seniors in high school; this is the last semester, and they are naturally excited and also frightened about their futures, going on to college, being separated from each other for the first time in their lives. Belle has an enemy, Mimi, who used to be Tom’s girlfriend. Mimi is jealous, spiteful, envious, and just plain mean. So these few days are about trouble (Em’s unplanned pregnancy), sexual frustration (Belle and Tom), and conflict (Belle and Mimi). The story is honest, earthy, and appealing. BTW, it’s too difficult to explain about the duct tape of the title, except that it is a charming creative medium. Jones knows about Maine, being a native,and she knows about writing (with an MFA from Vermont College). Reviewer: Claire Rosser
March 2008 (Vol. 42, No.2)

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

In this sequel to Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend (Flux, 2007), Belle is dealing with new issues in her life. As she finishes her final year of high school, she must come to terms with her dashed hopes of a future with Dylan. She must also deal with the many changes that seem to be taking place in the people around her, including her mother, who is seriously involved in a new romance. The main focus, though, is Belle's relationship with her new boyfriend, Tom, who at first seems reluctant to have sex with her, and a crisis situation with her friend Em and Em's boyfriend. Throughout the story, Belle copes in her own quirky way by playing folk music on her guitar and making lists, and the book concludes with one final list, "Things I Am Right Now." This is a thoughtful and often humorous read, and while there are almost too many different issues going on here (teen pregnancy, physical abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, gay bashing, life-threatening allergic reactions), Jones manages to make it all work. Her descriptions of life in a small town where everyone knows your business are spot-on, as are her depictions of high school. An occasional character is over-the-top, but Belle herself is a likable, believable character whose emotional crises will resonate with teens.-Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ

Product Details

Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)
NC620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Carrie Jones (Maine) holds an MFA from Vermont College’s prestigious Writing for Children and Young Adults program. She is the New York Times bestselling author of NEED and CAPTIVATE. Along with several column, editorial, sports writing and photography awards from the Maine Press Association, Carrie was recently awarded the Maine Literary Award for TIPS ON HAVING A GAY (EX) BOYFRIEND. She lives with her family and pets in Maine.

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Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Since her then-boyfriend announced he was gay several months back, things have finally started to settle down in Belle's life. Her relationship with Tom is going strong, her best friend Em's all lovey-dovey with her boyfriend, and even Belle's mom has found a man she adores. The classmate who attacked Belle last year has been transferred to another school, and the freedom of summer is fast approaching. Still, Belle can't help worrying that life can't possibly be as good as it seems. Tom hasn't made the move to go all the way yet, and she can't stop fretting that there's something wrong that she isn't seeing.

Unfortunately for Belle, it turns out she's right--but it's not something with Tom. First, to Belle's dismay, her seizures start happening with no apparent trigger. Then Em makes a life-changing discovery and swears Belle to secrecy. Belle sees her dreams of an easy transition to university with friends and boyfriends falling apart. As she struggles to figure out what's true, and to deal with her growing uncertainty, she is forced to question the things everyone takes for granted. Why do difficult things happen to people she's sure are "good?" Is the boy who attacked her really all bad, or is it okay for her to feel sympathy for him when she hears his father hitting him? What's the real story behind the snarky remarks and angry accusations of her long-time nemesis, Mimi? And most importantly, can Belle be "popular," loving, and "good," and stay true to herself all at the same time?

LOVE (AND OTHER USES FOR DUCT TAPE) has the same charm and emotionally wrenching honesty as its prequel, TIPS ON HAVING A GAY (EX) BOYFRIEND. Belle is an engaging narrator, struggling to do the right thing even when she knows not everyone agrees on what that "right" thing is. Her reactions to the changing circumstances around her are believable, and readers will eagerly follow her every step of the way. The other characters, both teens and adults, are equally well-drawn, in many shades of gray, never black and white. The book raises many hot topic issues, from teen sex and pregnancy to gay rights, but it keeps them personal and real, without any preaching or judgments. Ultimately, this is a story about Belle defining who she is and who she wants to be. It's a journey every teen must take, and this novel should be equally universal in its appeal.

Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What the heck is the first book about?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read the first one then this!!! Its so amazing I hope she writes a third one!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very odd, in my opinion. A good read, all in all. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago