Love, Ghosts, & Facial Hair [NOOK Book]

Overview

Jack’s got a lot on his mind: He’s trying to figure out the mystery of the opposite sex, he can’t stop wondering about facial hair, and he won’t let go of his mother’s ghost, even though she died seven years ago. Jack knows he can’t hang on to the past forever, but what he doesn’t know is how to let go.

Then he meets Annabel. She’s beautiful, smart, and she gets him. Suddenly love makes sense, and the future ...
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Love, Ghosts, & Facial Hair

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Overview

Jack’s got a lot on his mind: He’s trying to figure out the mystery of the opposite sex, he can’t stop wondering about facial hair, and he won’t let go of his mother’s ghost, even though she died seven years ago. Jack knows he can’t hang on to the past forever, but what he doesn’t know is how to let go.

Then he meets Annabel. She’s beautiful, smart, and she gets him. Suddenly love makes sense, and the future seems hopeful. And for the first time, Jack feels ready to leave the past where it belongs…
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Love, Ghosts & Facial Hair, the first of these two tender free-verse books, Jack, an aspiring writer growing up in western Australia, and his family finally cope with the death of his long-dead mother. In its sequel, Jack and girlfriend Annabel trade university for a road trip, ending up only "a few hundred kilometres down the road" working for an apple farmer and getting enmeshed in the farm family's hardships. Writing from multiple perspectives and with sentimentality tempered by humor, Australian author Herrick produces complicated characterizations and communicates warmth. In Love, Jack recounts a story his sister told him of his mother getting her cancer diagnosis ("that day was the middle of a heatwave/ but she shivered/ as she stepped from the surgery/ and saw Dad waiting in the car/ and both of us/ waving from the back seat./ she knew/ the doctor, the heatwave/ or this death/ couldn't touch her"). Off-topic poems in the first book, about a new teacher, or Annabel's poetry assignment, detract slightly, and Place may feel a bit saturated in problems (not only has the farmer's wife abandoned the family, but the oldest daughter is pregnant after a rape). On balance, however, poems about Jack and his dad trying to tear down an old playhouse in Love, or Emma making promises to her unborn child in Place ("and I touch my stomach/ and I whisper,/ `I won't ever leave you/ I won't ever...' ") provide lasting and believable images. Ages 14-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
Love, Ghosts, and Facial Hair introduces Jack, his older sister Desiree, and his widowed father. Jack is desperately trying to figure out life, love, and Annabel Browning. "I'm a normal guy. An average sixteen-year-old. I think about sex, sport, and, nose hair. Sex mostly . . . Desiree! She'll tell me." He has a great relationship with Desiree; at nineteen she seems to have it all together. Mum died of cancer seven years ago, but Jack and Dad are still trying to figure out how to let go of her ghost, not quite ready to move on. The love of Jack's life is Annabel; their relationship progresses smoothly from a tentative, initial-signed valentine through a nervous first date, to physical intimacy: "And I'm thinking as our bodies meet that I'll remember this forever and I just hope it's for all the right reasons." A Place Like This follows Jack and Annabel as they take a year off from university to wander. The road takes them to the orchard, picking apples for George and befriending his daughter Emma, who is pregnant at sixteen after being raped at a drunken school party. Stoic acceptance, not bitterness, governs this family. Annabel and Jack pick apples and make love in the hay, relishing the rhythm of farm life and the camaraderie. Life, like Jack and Annabel, moves on after the harvest. Herrick, one of Australia's most popular poets, crafts two slim free-verse novels to delve intimately into Jack's life. The spare poetry distills the strong emotions of loss, first love, and first sex. Teen readers will easily identify with Jack because his longings are universal. This reviewer has one caveat: Protected sex is mentioned only once in Love, Ghosts, and Facial Hair, and not atall in A Place Like This, yet sex is a strong theme in both books. VOYA Codes 4Q 4P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, Simon Pulse/S & S, 128p., Trade pb. Ages 15 to 18.
—Roxy Ekstrom
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Teenaged Jack thinks about sex (a lot), love, Annabel (sex again), nose hair, and his mother, who died of cancer and whose ghost haunts him. His memories-weekend trips with his father and sister, a photo of his mother, science class-are well drawn in first-person free verse. Most of the poems are narrated by the 16-year-old, with some selections by his father or sister. The switch is quick, without warning, and some readers might not realize that the voice has changed. By the end of the book, through numerous growth experiences and a burgeoning relationship with Annabel, Jack is ready to "tell the ghost no more visits/It's not that I don't need her/or want her to stay,/I'm just too old to believe in it anymore-." He's come to terms with the past, ready to face the uncertain future, stronger. In A Place Like This, also written in free verse, Jack, now 18, and Annabel have decided to put off going to university and set out on their own. They enjoy one another, sex, and their freedom. Life leads them to a job at an apple orchard, where Jack realizes, "This is not what I planned./I wanted lonely beaches with Annabel/and bush camping beside a river-." Instead, the two pick apples for 10 hours a day, sleep in a shed, and get entangled with their employer's pregnant daughter. Jack is drawn to help Emma because of a secret in his past. The story is tied up a bit quickly, and not entirely satisfactorily, but readers remain confident that Jack will survive wherever life takes him, and Annabel, next.-Sharon Korbeck, Waupaca Area Public Library, WI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439121702
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 4/16/2013
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,225,228
  • Age range: 14 years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Steven Herrick is one of Australia's most popular poets. His books for teens include Love, Ghosts,&Facial Hair; A Place Like This; and The Simple Gift.
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Table of Contents

My family
1 My name 2
2 My family (the dream one) 4
3 My family (the real one) 5
4 My family (the truth) 6
5 Sex, sport, & nose hair 8
6 Desiree on sex 10
7 Another poem on sex, sport, & nose hair 11
8 A writer 12
9 The great poem 14
10 Love is like a gobstopper 15
11 Desiree on facial hair 16
12 Violence in the family 17
There's a ghost in our house
13 Cancer 20
14 Don't believe 21
15 The photo 22
16 The family holiday 23
17 There's a ghost in our house 24
18 Shoes, socks, the lock on the bathroom door 26
19 Coooeee 28
20 Dad writes poetry 30
21 The family team 32
22 The cubbyhouse 34
23 Wine 36
24 Signature 37
25 Katoomba 38
26 The new teacher 40
27 Shiver 42
The wild orchard
28 Valentine's day 46
29 Annabel on Jack 47
30 I kiss Annabel's photo 48
31 There's more to life than Annabel 50
32 First date 52
33 Annabel writes poetry! 54
34 Annabel 55
35 Annabel and the ghost 56
36 The ghost is away 58
37 The fireplace 60
38 Ezra finds the hut 61
39 Megalong creek hut 62
40 Annabel and the wild orchard 63
Making a living
41 The funeral 66
42 Desiree 67
43 Careers 68
44 Selling up 70
45 The wreck 71
46 Dad didn't come home last night 72
47 Sunday lunch 74
48 The earthquake 76
49 What I do for a living 78
50 All her brain cells 79
51 Solo Desiree 80
52 The ghost spoke to me last night 82
53 Father of the year 83
54 Annabel writes a poem for english 85
55 Winter Annabel 87
Echoes
56 My son is seeing a girl 90
57 Sex, sport, and nose hair (according to Annabel) 92
58 Blue mountains school 94
59 Bloody rain 96
60 Confessions 98
61 The right reasons 100
62 The bike ride 102
63 Monday, the last before holidays 104
64 Ms Curling 106
65 Annabel kisses 108
66 It's easy 109
67 37 lines 110
68 Telling the ghost 112
69 Echoes 114
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