3.9 73
by Jake Coburn

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After an accident seems to end his college and athletic dreams, Ted is offered a second chance at school if he agrees to spy on a classmate and help her father monitor her bulimia.  See more details below


After an accident seems to end his college and athletic dreams, Ted is offered a second chance at school if he agrees to spy on a classmate and help her father monitor her bulimia.

Editorial Reviews

In LoveSick, Jake Coburn puts a modern twist on the classic love story. I savored every last morsel.
—Amy Gray, author of Spygirl: True Adventures from My Life as a Private Eye
The author, who also wrote Prep, a novel exposing "the hidden, fiendish world" of prep school gangs (reviewed in KLIATT in Sept. 2003), claims in the preface that Love Sick is a true story, but, of course, disclaimers are also made on the copyright page that the contents are fiction. Erica is 18, wealthy, restrained by an overprotective father, and seriously bulimic. Jake, also 18, is a recovering alcoholic who smashed up his knee and a full-ride sports scholarship in a drunken collision of car and tree. Erica's father hires Jake to spy on his daughter, supposedly 20 minutes work a week, at the enormously over-inflated price of all of Jake's college expenses for four years. Jake is placed in a dorm room near Erica's and sets to work. Wouldn't you know, though, that troubled Jake falls in love with troubled Erica and all of the dictatorial father's plans go awry when Jake finds his spine and decides true love is worth any cost? Erica, conveniently, has a million or so dollars of her own, which allows her to escape her father's clutches, get therapy, and enables both to finish college anywhere their whims take them. The novel's real value lies not so much in its plotting but in its story of recovery for both Erica and Jake. It is certainly an advertisement for the 12-step program. Definitely for older adolescents because of excessive use of profanity; probably there in the interests of "realism," but may not be the limited lexicon of every young reader. KLIATT Codes: S—Recommended for senior high school students. 2005, Penguin, Dutton, 288p., Ages 15 to 18.
—Myrna Marler
Children's Literature
Coburn's second novel tells the tale of two teenagers, Ted and Erica, whose lives hold common threads. They are both freshmen at the same college, recovering from diseases, and are being manipulated by Erica's wealthy father. Set across the span of their first semester, and divided into four sections by month, Coburn recounts their journeys. At the onset, Ted looses his basketball scholarship due to a drunk driving accident. As a result he must attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and can no longer afford college— that is until a stranger offers him a chance if he will agree to spy on Erica, the Park Avenue princess and part-time bulimic. Coburn's plot is a predictable one, as the pair discover their parallels and find themselves their only friends, while falling in love in an environment hostile towards their hopes for recovery. Ted's guilt over his commitment to spy on Erica leaves him longing to tell the truth. Coburn's writing style—descriptive passages infused with vulgar e-mails, imitate VonZeigler's Gossip Girl, however, the plot has holes. While these characters are strikingly realistic many questions arise, such as why would Erica's father hire an amature and not a professional to spy on her? Overall Corburn's work will satisfy the Generation Y audience as it is fast-paced, fresh, and quite contemporary. 2005, Dutton Books, Ages 14 up.
—Elizabeth Sulock
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-After driving while drunk, crashing his truck into a tree, and wrecking his knee, Ted York no longer has a basketball scholarship to NYU or much of a future. He attends Alcoholics Anonymous on a judge's orders and has been sober for 90 days. When a stranger offers him full tuition if he'll keep an eye on a bulimic freshman for her billionaire father, the teen accepts the deal, expecting it to require little effort. But he hadn't counted on falling in love with Erica, and he finds himself forced to decide whether his loyalty is to her or the man paying his bills. Coburn skillfully balances the issues of alcoholism and bulimia with the fragile love story of two lost teens. Ted and Erica are surprisingly mature and aware of their faults, and their dialogue, including obscenities, is realistic. Erica's father is sympathetic in his genuine but misdirected concern for his daughter. The fast-paced narrative is helped along by frequent e-mails between characters. Part Ellen Wittlinger's Heart on My Sleeve (S & S, 2004), part Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now (Random, 2004), LoveSick will keep readers rooting for these teens.-Jane Cronkhite, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Claiming to be a nonfiction novel, this story explores the relationship between two teens struggling with addiction: Ted with alcoholism and Erica with bulimia. Ted is a good kid from a working-class family, formerly a star basketball player who has just lost an excellent scholarship. Erica is an angry little rich girl trying to escape the control of her powerful father. They're brought together by Michael, who hires Ted to spy on Erica for her father, offering to pay for his college education. Coburn tells much of the story through e-mails, as the two teens develop a friendship. Both become appealing to the reader, although Michael stands out, as the most original and interesting character. Coburn keeps the story well balanced and moving along swiftly. Readers will care what happens to these people; as a result, it should appeal to a wide audience. Nicely done. (Fiction. YA)

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.82(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.92(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

Koren Zailckas
"Dangerous, devastating, and funny as all hell, LoveSick is a must read for anyone who has ever found themselves recovering."
Bestselling author of Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood

Meet the Author

Jake Coburn lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Lovesick 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
Goose-Girl More than 1 year ago
Ted thinks his life is over after a drunk driving accident, but then Michael comes to him with an interesting proposition. Erica is struggling to with bulimia and an oppressive father, but at least she gets to be on her own in college. When they meet, they may just save each other. The beginning of this book leads me to believe that this is based on a true story, though I could be wrong about that. It makes the story even more interesting if that's true though. In the beginning the plot moves a little slow, but once you get past the first few pages it picks up and is well worth the read.
23451 More than 1 year ago
I'll admit I was confused out of my mind in in the begining but it got easier as I read and I loved it. It's not your average young adult love story and it doesn't have a 'perfect prince' or anything. Ted is a recovering alcoholic and Erica is bulimic. The emotion, anxiety, hate, anger, nervousness, etc. was written very well, though the love aspect of it was a little sudden. You'll either love it or hate it, depending on what kind of stories you like, but I loved it.
Funnelcake More than 1 year ago
the book was ok i did like it but it just wasn`t realistic and the ending wasn`t as great as hoped it would be but it is a nice love story
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing..the way ted showed his affection for erica! great read. Slow start..but it sucks you in!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a really good book. Sometimes it got kind of confusing because of the words used. But, I would definately recommend this to anyone who likes real-life stories.
Ciara Dasovic More than 1 year ago
the book was rather distrubing in a way?i understand that both main characters struggle with their addiction but i would have like it better if the author didn't go into such detail about how erica (one of the main characters) was bulimic and describing in very gruesome detail how she would binge?over all the book was okay..started off slow?i did like however, the email and IM's thrown into the story and how eventually the ted and erica's story intertwined?the ending was cliche by ending with a cliff hanger?but sadly if this book became a series i dont think i would be interested in reading the second one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I definitely recommend this for teens that are possible going through something difficult or a disorder or something of the sort. It's definitely a love story that I enjoyed and I felt the ups and downs with the characters. This was a book I absolutely loved and would read more than once!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i adored how much detail the author could provide it really gave you a huge look into two different worlds many people dont know about
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veebaby12 More than 1 year ago
Definately worth the buy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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