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Katie RoipheThese are not great…poems; and yet the book is as vivid in chronicling teenage relationships as many of the trendier novels written for those years.
—The New York Times
Teenage love explored from his and her points of view. From the first furtive looks across the classroom to the blossom of new romance and the final flameout, teenage love is loaded with awkwardness, uncertainty, dreams, conflict, and pure bliss. Poets Sara Holbrook and Allan Wolf combine their considerable talents to explore these feelings and struggles by creating the voices of a girl and boy in the throes of affection. As they experience the giddiness of love, the poems' two characters also face obstacles ...
Teenage love explored from his and her points of view. From the first furtive looks across the classroom to the blossom of new romance and the final flameout, teenage love is loaded with awkwardness, uncertainty, dreams, conflict, and pure bliss. Poets Sara Holbrook and Allan Wolf combine their considerable talents to explore these feelings and struggles by creating the voices of a girl and boy in the throes of affection. As they experience the giddiness of love, the poems' two characters also face obstacles (parents) and distractions (friends) while learning to respect each other's interests and needs. Can this relationship survive? In sonnets, tankas, villanelles, and other poetic forms, Holbrook and Wolf examine the efforts of two teenagers who dare to be more than friends.
I Hope She Likes the Way I Wear My Tee
I hope she likes the way I wear my tee—
my sleeves rolled up, my shirttail hanging loose.
'Course I don't dress for her; I dress for me.
If how I look's not me, then what's the use?
I hope she likes the way my blue jeans sag—
the boxer shorts exposed. The belt bum-wrapped.
I wear 'em inside out to show the tag:
But being fashion-forward isn't free,
especially when styles change every day.
My look is wrong if how I look ain't me. ... —From the book
Gr 7 Up
Through a series of "he" and "she" poems, Holbrook and Wolf detail the range of emotions when a childhood friendship become a teenage romance. The relationship goes from shy uncertainty to blissful togetherness, dark rejection, and, finally, a return to friendship. Most of the poems are complementary and conversational, such as the excellent opening selections: "What to Do When She Looks at You?" and "What to Do When He Looks at You?" These deliciously readable poems, accessible and compact, bring to light recognizable feelings and use a variety of forms, including sonnets, free verse, luc bat, villanelle, tanka, and terza rima. An appendix briefly explains each form and refers to famous poems written in these styles. The book's appeal is limited somewhat by an unattractive cover and grainy black-and-white photos and graphic artwork, but teachers and readers alike will savor this innovative approach to an ever-popular topic.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Posted November 4, 2008
Boy and girl meet. Boy and girl become friends. Boy and girl start to wonder if there's something more. Whether or not we've had a more-than-friends relationship, I'm sure most of us have felt like we'd like to be more than friends with someone we know. <BR/><BR/>What happens when we finally become something more? How do you balance new love and old friendships? Will your love last? If it doesn't, how do you go back to being just friends? <BR/><BR/>Poets Sarah Holbrook and Allan Wolf decide to try and answer some of these questions through poetry. They each take turns writing poems, first one from him and then one from her. They explore the beginnings of a relationship, crushes, and all the ups and downs that come from falling in love. <BR/><BR/>The poems are all written in various formats, from free verse to couplet, sonnet, and tanka. Some of the poetry forms were new to me, so I was happy to see that the authors included a glossary in the back explaining how each form worked and then encouraging readers to write their own. <BR/><BR/>This is a short, quick read, and these beautiful poems are worth checking out.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.