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Thwonk [NOOK Book]


Imagine having a personal cupid—an actual winged being—pop into your life and offer to make your dreams come true. The catch is he can help you in only one way: artistically, academically, or romantically. That's what happens to aspiring photographer Allison Jean (A. J.) McCreary. A. J. knows she should concentrate on getting into a top-notch art school. But she's spent five torturous months obsessed with ...
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Imagine having a personal cupid—an actual winged being—pop into your life and offer to make your dreams come true. The catch is he can help you in only one way: artistically, academically, or romantically. That's what happens to aspiring photographer Allison Jean (A. J.) McCreary. A. J. knows she should concentrate on getting into a top-notch art school. But she's spent five torturous months obsessed with handsome hunk, Peter Terris. Just one shot from the cupid's bow and thownk, A. J. will have the undying devotion of handsome Peter...forever.

A cupid doll comes to life and offers romantic assistance to A.J., a teenage photographer suffering from unrequited love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Bauer's (Squashed) lighthearted (literally) story subtly delivers a meaningful statement to its YA audience. A.J., a high school senior who is very serious about her future career as a photographer, is quickly approaching the final deadline for a big assignment: to take the cover photo for the Valentine's Day issue of her school paper. As it turns out, her inspiration for that task comes from a most unusual source. Driving home one day she almost runs over a box, out of which rolls a stuffed cupid. He comes to life, setting A.J.'s existence onto an amusing-if obviously unbelievable-roller-coaster of a ride. Not only does he lead her to the site of the ideal photo op for the paper, but he shoots his arrow into the heart of the drop-dead gorgeous Peter Terris, whom A.J. has long ogled from afar. Peter asks her out and then, much to A.J.'s embarrassment, insists on proclaiming his undying love in public-loudly. Catapulted into Peter's popular, decidedly vapid crowd, A.J. discovers that what she has wished for is more likely to suffocate her than to bring her happiness. Bauer's buoyant narrative will elicit chuckles as it delivers its message (thwonk!) with the accuracy of a well-aimed arrow from Cupid.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An honest-to-goodness cupid turns A.J.'s life upside-down. "Bauer's buoyant narrative will elicit chuckles as it delivers its message thwonk! with the accuracy of a well-aimed arrow," said PW. Ages 12-up. June
The ALAN Review - Teri S. Lesesne
A.J. is faced with a dilemma: how can she best capture the spirit of Valentine's Day when her love life is such a dud? Enter Jonathan. No, Jonathan is not the love of A.J.'s life; he is her own personal Cupid. When A.J. directs Jonathan to fire his arrow at the object of her affections, one Peter Terris, the results are somewhat different from what she anticipates. Part romance, part fantasy, part coming-of-age novel, Thwonk is totally wonderful reading. As she proved so ably in Squashed, Bauer has a talent for creating characters who manage to survive the angst of adolescence. Teachers and librarians would do well to recommend large doses of Bauer to those readers of Sweet Valley High and other similar series books. Bauer offers readers more than boy-meets-girl romance fare. Here are likable, rounded characters brought to life by gentle humor and realistic dialogue.
Children's Literature - Tim Whitney
Seventeen-year-old Allison Jean (A.J.) McCreary has two immense passions in her life: her photography, in which she displays great promise, and handsome hunk Peter Terris, who barely knows that she exists. But life changes for A.J. when she discovers Jonathan, her personal cupid, late one night about a week before Valentine's Day. A.J. is allowed only one wish, and Jonathan can help her either artistically, academically, or romantically. Against Jonathan's advice and her own better judgment, A.J. asks Jonathan to help her with Peter to have a date for the King of Hearts Dance just six days away. One shot with cupid's arrow and thwonk, A.J. has the loving devotion of handsome Peter forever. She soon realizes that what she has wished for isn't what she truly wants. Adolescent girls will relate well to A.J.'s dilemma and enjoy this humorous story with an ending that is not so obvious to predict.
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-This silly, offbeat novel warns all readers: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR! A.J. McCreary, photographer extraordinaire, lovelorn, and invisible to school hunk, Peter Terris, is unable to capture a fitting cover shot for the school paper's special Valentine's Day edition. Then, she stumbles upon a stuffed cupid who comes to life and offers her one of three alluring choices: artistic, academic, or romantic assistance. In spite of the cupid's vehement protests against the last and his admitted previous failure in the arena of teen love, A.J. follows her heart. After Peter is smitten, and her date for the King of Hearts dance is secure, she finds that his slathering, abject devotion and unrestrained attention embarrass her, and that he is boring. Like Ellie in Bauer's Squashed (Delacorte, 1992), A.J. is a witty, intelligent protagonist whose fresh perceptions of her peers keep readers chuckling. In the end, a brilliant newspaper cover shot convinces her former-filmmaker father of her talent and makes the novel's ultimate statement about young romance. Thwonk revels in the vagaries, insecurities, and uncomfortable realities of teen love.-Alice Casey Smith, Monmouth County Library Headquarters, Manalapan, NJ
Stephanie Zvirin
"Thwonk." That's the sound made by Jonathan Cupid's bow when he fulfills A. J. McCreary's wish that hunky Peter Terris become hers and hers alone. Unfortunately, A. J. soon finds that Peter's total adoration is more than she bargained for, especially since there's not the slightest bit of depth (or interest in A. J.'s beloved photography) beneath Peter's handsome face. The question then becomes, Can a spell invoked become a spell broken? Although this novel isn't as substantial as "Squashed" (1992), which dealt particularly well with the question of self-image, Bauer decks out a comfortably familiar scenario with some good comic flourishes and gives strong, full voice to A. J.'s character. It's a novel YAs will read just for fun.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101657911
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/2/2005
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 337,227
  • Age range: 12 - 16 Years
  • File size: 302 KB

Meet the Author

July 12, 1951 - "I was born at eleven A.M., a most reasonable time, my mother often said, and when the nurse put me in my mother's arms for the first time I had both a nasty case of the hiccups and no discernible forehead (it's since grown in). I've always believed in comic entrances.

"As I grew up in River Forest, Illinois in the 1950's I seem to remember an early fascination with things that were funny. I thought that people who could make other people laugh were terribly fortunate. While my friends made their career plans, declaring they would become doctors, nurses, and lawyers, inwardly, I knew that I wanted to be involved somehow in comedy. This, however, was a difficult concept to get across in first grade. But I had a mother with a great comic sense (she was a high school English teacher) and a grandmother who was a funny professional storytellerso I figured the right genes were in there somewhere, although I didn't always laugh at what my friends laughed at and they rarely giggled at my jokes. That, and the fact that I was overweight and very tall, all made me feel quite different when I was growing upa bit like a water buffalo at a tea party.

"My grandmother, who I called Nana, had the biggest influence on me creatively. She taught me the importance of stories and laughter. She never said, 'Now I'm going to tell you a funny story', she'd just tell a story, and the humor would naturally flow from it because of who she was and how she and her characters saw the world. She showed me the difference between derisive laughter that hurts others and laughter that comes from the heart. She showed me, too, that stories help us understand ourselves at a deep level. She was a keen observer of people.

"I kept a diary as a child, was always penning stories and poems. I played the flute heartily, taught myself the guitar, and wrote folk songs. For years I wanted to be a comedienne, then a comedy writer. I was a voracious reader, too, and can still remember the dark wood and the green leather chairs of the River Forest Public Library, can hear my shoes tapping on the stairs going down to the children's room, can feel my fingers sliding across rows and rows of books, looking through the card catalogues that seemed to house everything that anyone would ever need to know about in the entire world. My parents divorced when I was eight years old, and I was devastated at the loss of my father. I pull from that memory regularly as a writer. Every book I have written so far has dealt with complex father issues of one kind or another. My father was an alcoholic and the pain of that was a shadow that followed me for years. I attempted to address that pain in Rules of the Road. It was a very healing book for me. I didn't understand it at the time, but I was living out the theme that I try to carry into all of my writing: adversity, if we let it, will make us stronger.

"In my twenties, I had a successful career in sales and advertising with the Chicago Tribune, McGraw-Hill, and Parade Magazine. I met my husband Evan, a computer engineer, while I was on vacation. Our courtship was simple. He asked me to dance; I said no. We got married five months later in August, 1981. But I was not happy in advertising sales, and I had a few ulcers to prove it. With Evan's loving support, I decided to try my hand at professional writing. I wish I could say that everything started falling into place, but it was a slow, slow buildwriting newspaper and magazine articles for not much money. My daughter Jean was born in July of 82. She had the soul of a writer even as a baby. I can remember sitting at my typewriter (I didn't have a computer back then) writing away with Jean on a blanket on the floor next to me. If my writing was bad that day, I'd tear that page out of the typewriter and hand it to her. 'Bad paper,' I'd say and Jean would rip the paper in shreds with her little hands.

"I had moved from journalism to screenwriting when one of the biggest challenges of my life occurred. I was in a serious auto accident which injured my neck and back severely and required neurosurgery. It was a long road back to wholeness, but during that time I wrote Squashed, my first young adult novel. The humor in that story kept me going. Over the years, I have come to understand how deeply I need to laugh. It's like oxygen to me. My best times as a writer are when I'm working on a book and laughing while I'm writing. Then I know I've got something."

Joan's first novel, Squashed, won the Delacorte Prize for a First Young Adult Novel. Five novels for young adult readers have followed: Thwonk, Sticks, Rules of the Road (LA Times Book Prize and Golden Kite), Backwater and Hope was Here (Newbery Honor Medal).

Joan lives in Darien, CT with her husband and daughter.

Copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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Read an Excerpt




Copyright © 1995 Joan Bauer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-14-240429-2

Chapter One

I was in my makeshift darkroom above the garage developing my umpteenth print of Peter Terris, an individual of full-orbed gorgeousness who needs absolutely no retouching, an individual oozing with classic tones and highlights who barely knew that I was alive. I had taken this shot in great diffused light in the Benjamin Franklin High School Student Center, catching Peter poised perfectly by the sainted statue of Big Ben himself. I had taken it from afar (distance being the basic glitch in our relationship), using my ace Nikon F2 and zoom lens while hiding behind a fake marble pillar. I was hiding because if he knew I'd been secretly photographing him for all these months he would think I was immature, neurotic, and obsessive.

I'm not.

I'm an artist. Artists are always misunderstood. My red safelight shot a warm glow through my darkroom. I sloshed developer solution around the photographic paper (sloshing was a key developing technique) and rocked the tray gently as Peter's face filled the paper. At first it was hazy like a shadow, then the fine grains appeared and flowed into chiseled sensation. I dipped the paper in fixing solution to stop the process, rinsed it, ran a squeegee over it, and hung it on a clothesline to dry. I studied the photograph and felt my kidneys curl. It was a surprising shot that caught you off guard, like seeing an old friend unexpectedly. My father, who taught me everything he knew about photography, would call it "a decisive moment." It dripped emotion like a great photograph should. I pushed back my swivel chair and sighed deeply. I have spent the last five months trying not to love him. I sneezed with emotion, being a chronic allergy sufferer, whipped out my nasal inhaler, and gave each nostril a long, tormented squirt. Falling in love is a massive pain.

I locked the darkroom door and slumped through my studio. It was February sixth: eight days until Valentine's Day. I was dateless, as usual, deep in the vice grip of unrequited love. It was bad enough not having a boyfriend for New Year's Eve. Now I had to cope with Valentine datelessness, feeling consummate social pressure from every retailer in America who stuck hearts and cupids in their windows by January second to rub it in.

There was the humiliation of not having a date to the King of Hearts Dance at school, a dance considered by persons in the know to be an excellent way to get a date to the prom if you weren't otherwise attached, a dance that is held every Valentine's Day in the Benjamin Franklin High School Student Center in a massive celebration of teenage romance and universal love. I started down the garage steps that led from my studio and nearly tripped over Stieglitz, my dog, a forty-pound black-and-white keeshond (pronounced caze-hawnd) fur ball named for Alfred Stieglitz, great black-and-white photographer of the turn of the century. He lunged at me with unbridled glee because the mere sight of my presence always made his day. It's important to have a dog. Dogs love unconditionally. I knelt down to pat him. "Have you ever noticed, Stieglitz, that love is filled with pain and torture and promises nothing but agony?" Stieglitz hadn't noticed, wagged his tail, and tried to climb into my lap. I crashed through the garage, into the kitchen, and contemplated my dilemma.

The whole thing with Peter Terris started five months ago, and I'd like to say from the outset that I wasn't looking for trouble. I was walking through the Student Center to English Lit, speed-reading Beowulf when I tripped over Peter's flawless foot and crashed at his feet like a complete spaz. I would have written the whole thing off to consummately bleak timing had I not gazed into his ice-green eyes, observed that they were positively riveting, and frozen in time. This was hazardous. I was trying to avoid eye contact with the entire male species. My last relationship had just crumbled and left me emotionally blotto when Todd Kovich, my boyfriend of four gut-wrenching months, left to attend Yale University, and spoke those parting words favored by churls and two-timers the world over:

"I'll call you." Did he call? Have I heard one syllable from him since August twenty-third? Do pigs fly? So there I was, flopped at Peter Terris's feet, still reeling from Todd's premier abandonment. I brushed myself off. I reminded myself that falling for another gorgeous guy was beyond stupid, particularly when that guy was captain of the varsity soccer team and going out with Julia Hart, who was excruciatingly beautiful or, as my best friend, Trish Beckman, put it, "Death Incarnate." Nothing could pry a male from Julia Hart's side with the possible exception of a blowtorch.

I smiled and tried to exit gracefully, and instead I managed to half-trip. Peter Terris was looking at me like a child watches a clown in the circus. I limped off. That's when Trish Beckman accosted me by the World Peace Bench that had been given to the school by last year's graduating class. Trish is in the Drama Guild and reacts theatrically to everything. "Don't even think about Peter Terris, A.J.!" she snarled. I held up my hands in innocence. "It's not going to work," Trish railed. "I saw the whole thing. Your eyes got gooey." She examined my hands and shook her head. "Your hands are sweaty." She lowered her voice ominously to a stage whisper. "We've seen this before." No joke. Trish and I have been best friends since sixth grade and we've been through everything together -countless romantic devastations, the constant attacks of her little brat brother, plus the epic horror of her father's midlife crisis when he wore skintight shirts and called everybody "Babe." "Say it!" Trish demanded. "I am not going to fall for the wrong guy again," I mumbled. She studied my face.

I rubbed my eyes. "I'm fine," I assured her. That was five months ago. I wasn't fine then and I'm not fine now. Let's talk tragedy. I've had four, count them, four boyfriends with definite dream potential turn into Swiss cheese in one year. Two went back to their old girlfriends, one insulted my photography, and Todd, saphead that he is, graduated and went to Yale. I've missed one prom ("Let's Keep the Magic Forever"), last year's Homecoming Howl, and the King of Hearts Dance three years running.

I have dating strengths, you understand. I am not ugly. I have long chestnut hair, solid brown eyes, excellent teeth, and a small nose I can wrinkle if I have to. I am tall (almost five nine), slim, except for my knees which will probably pudge out by the time I hit thirty. I have less of a waist than I'd like, less of a chin than I'd like, but I wear clothes well and I can handle minor repairs on any car without seeming overbearing. My parents are concerned about how quickly I fall in love. "Why do you think, A.J.," they say in unison, "that you find these boys so attractive?" I didn't say that this fiery chemical explosion leaps from somewhere inside me. Parents don't want to hear these things. I shrugged and said nothing. "Maybe you should try sitting on the intensity," Mom suggests, "just until your feelings catch up with reality."

"We could chain you to the water heater," Dad offers, "until these little moments pass."

You see what I'm up against. I've tried expressing my love life photographically -the smashed Orange Crush can lying in the middle of an empty playground is my favorite. I'll be thinking I'm doing fine and then I see a couple float down the street, massively in love, and I remember being that way, even though it was fleeting. I remember feeling wanted and desirable and important and then the sadness comes crashing in and I review every guy who dumped me, all the way back to Marry Michler who laughed at the cupid Valentine I gave him in fourth grade and showed it to everyone at recess. If you want to really know me you have to look at my photography, because my art and I are intrinsically tied. I was seven years old when photography and I collided in Italy. I looked through the viewfinder of my father's Leica at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, tilted the camera until the Tower stood razor straight, and snapped. When the prints came back I was hooked by the power of a small machine that could fix a falling building. Dad bought me my own used 35mm, and I set out to capture all of life honestly through my lens. Guys don't understand great art. They don't care that sometimes the camera has power beyond the photographer to record emotion that only the heart can see. They're threatened when the camera jumps ahead of me. Todd Kovich was ripped when I brought my F2 to the prom, but I'd missed too many transcendent shots over the years to ever take a chance of missing one again. A prom, I told him, had a boundless supply of photogenic bozos who could be counted on to do something base.

Few males appreciate the role of the artist in a crumbling world. But I held out great hope for Peter Terris.

I was standing at the kitchen door watching my father work. Dad was in another world, holding two boxes of ChocoMallowChunks cereal-the cherished new product of his biggest client, ChocoChunks International-holding them like a weary father would cradle newborn twins. He was carving out a new ad campaign and reaching into the core of his creative volcano to find something important to say about a children's breakfast cereal that contained enough refined sugar to seriously alter a generation's SAT scores. I thought about clearing my voice to let him know I was there. I thought about the hurt of the last few months that kept crashing in around us.

I leaned against the door silently as Dad gripped the cereal boxes and exhaled slowly, bonding with the product. This was how he taught me to approach photography: "Entwine yourself with the subject," Dad often said, "until its essence floods your being." This was not always easy, but when I connected it was magic and I have the awards to prove it. I won the "Most Textural" ribbon at the Crestport Arts and Oyster Festival with my searing still life "Bowl of Bean Dip"; I cinched the coveted Northeast FotoFast Youth Photography Contest with "Tootsies," my socko close-up of Betsy Manero's brother's toes.

Dad slapped the counter. "We're going full bore!" he announced to the air. "Major PR all across America to announce the new cereal flavor. ChocoMallowChunks awards to young athletes. We'll put their pictures on the box, highlight their families, how their parents got up before dawn for eight years to get them to the pool, ice rink, whatever. Poor slobs. We'll get contests going in schools-the winners get parties with rock groups, the kids become local heroes. T-shirts, visors, chocolate iridescent scratch-and-smell stickers. We'll saturate America with coupon madness!"

Dad stepped back, satisfied, as the kitchen clock tolled. He was a smidgen over six feet tall, dark and swarthy with an on-again, off-again mustache. Advertising is Dad's second incarnation. He'd struggled as an independent filmmaker and sometime photographer for eleven cash-poor years, and came so close to making it. But each project went bust-budgets were obliterated, minds were changed, his photos almost sold. "Almost," as Dad says, "doesn't pay the rent." He cut bait on my sixth birthday, bought a suit, and "went commercial." I hated that suit. He wore it like it was heavy armor for fighting dragons. I think he was battling more than he knew.

Dad took what he knew about filmmaking and went into advertising, where he has been very successful. He's made Topper's toiletbowl brushes dance with soul, turned Sparky's toothbrushes into jet-propelled purple lasers, pitted Zitslayer acne gel against vampire pimples, and coaxed a chorus of EasyOn panty hose to sing like they really meant it. This is a person who can squeeze meaning from a stone.

He can also be obtuse. When I made my ultimate announcement last November that I was going to be an artist, go to arts college, make my name in photography, Dad hit the roof. "A career in the arts has no security, A.J.," he barked. "You will walk the streets alone, be kicked in the stomach time and again by cretins who have no clue as to what you're trying to say. No daughter of mine is going to throw her life away!"

He stormed off with me shouting that we needed to discuss it and him shouting back that there was nothing to discuss. Mom tried to step in and make peace like she always does, but the battle lines had been drawn. That's when the Wall went up between us-part silence, part pain. We've been like two porcupines passing in a narrow hallway ever since.

So I sent my college applications off to the "right schools," the ones according to Dad that would give me the "right education," praying they'd all hate me. And with my mother's guarded permission I sent my finest photographic work off to several superior arts schools, not knowing what would happen if they accepted me. One night I saw Dad slumped in the family room staring at my first self-portrait (I was twelve) like he was hypnotized. I so wanted to ask him, "Do you think I have enough talent to make it, Dad?"

I didn't ask him though.

Dad said when I got my first camera I arranged my shots with the controlling passion of a football coach calling the plays. I categorically deny this. Okay, so once or twice I pulled my parents apart when they were having one of their epic fights that happened after we first moved to Connecticut when Mom had to leave her catering business behind in Chicago because Dad had taken a big-muck advertising position in Manhattan and wasn't around very much. "All right, Mommy and Daddy," I announced. "Hug each other and smile at the camera."

Hugging didn't help. What really helped was when I fell out of the big oak tree in the front yard and broke my arm. Mom and Dad were in marriage counseling then trying to rechannel their anger, but they stopped being angry quick at the pitiful sight of me screaming for mercy in the emergency room. I am allergic to pain. By the time the cast came off they were cuddling and listening to jazz like the old days. I took a photograph of the cast (my first still life) and gave it to them on their anniversary. Mom cried when she saw it; Dad sniffed proudly and said it stood for brokenness and remembering what was important. It just goes to show you the eternal power of capturing a moment in time.

My biggest fear in life, along with drying up romantically, is not making it with my photography. When Dad and I used to take our cameras and go looking for pictures together, like we did over the summer -pounding the streets of New York City, shooting roll after roll of Fifth Avenue shoppers and broken-down taxis-I wanted to hug him and tell him how sorry I am that his passion can't be his career. "It's my hobby now," Dad insisted, "and that's enough." If that happens to me, if I can't make the world listen to what I have to say through my art, I think I'll die. Dad was staring at the boxes of ChocoMallowChunks cereal like they held the secrets to the universe. His phone rang; that's when he noticed me. I coughed. "Hi ..." Dad looked down and shoved his hands in his pockets. "I need to get the phone," he muttered. "Right." I flopped on the overstuffed kitchen couch and watched him go. I wondered what would happen to all his films and photographs in the upstairs closet-the documentaries on homelessness and drug addiction, the funny short subjects, the half-finished romantic comedy, the boxes of slice-of-life photographs that speak volumes about the human condition. I wondered how you stop caring about what you've ached over, sweated over. I wondered if my father would ever trust me as an artist. I wondered if Peter Terris even knew I was alive.

I focused my F2 on a Valentine candy heart lying forlornly by the sink; warm light washed over it. I ate half the heart to add brokenhearted realism, and was standing on a stool for an aerial view when the phone rang, the answering machine clicked on.

"I hope," said Pearly Shoemaker's voice, "that you're working on the Valentine cover shot, A.J. ..." She paused here for effect. Pearly was the angst-ridden editor of the Benjamin Franklin High School Oracle, the school paper where I toiled day and night as the principal photographer for absolutely no money. "Since," she continued, "the rest of the edition can't go to press without it! An edition I've been slaving over for six months!" I closed my eyes; I knew she wasn't done. "If you're not working on it, A.J., we're all finished!"

I moved in close with my macro lens for a broad, cartoon feel and clicked off three fast shots of the Valentine heart with half its life gone.

"I'm working on it!" I growled.

"I know you're there, A.J.!" She said this snarling and hung up.

I should have known better than to ever get involved in this lame assignment. The Valentine edition was to be the biggest thing to hit love and high-school journalism since graffiti. "I can see it!" Pearly had shouted, when she first approached me with the idea. "An entire edition about love and those tumultuous teenage years. It'll be hundreds of pages, we'll market it to local businesses-everyone will buy an ad, A.J., because who can say no to love? I'll ... I mean, we'll be famous!" She went on to say that the Oracle, normally free, would be selling on Valentine's Day for two dollars, cold cash, no credit, and for that the A. J. McCreary cover shot had to be perfect. I groaned.

"Just do it, A.J.!" she snarled. I've shot weird scenes through dark, murky filters, teenage couples hugging out of focus, a boy and girl kissing outside Petrocelli's Poultry as Mr. Petrocelli hung two seven-pound roasters in the window. Pearly wanted something advertisers could relate to. "Think Valentine's Day, A.J.! Hearts, cupids ...!"

"I don't do cupids, Pearly. They're trite." "Couples holding hands ..." "Primitive ..."

"Nothing weird!" she shrieked. "Nothing depressing! And absolutely nothing oblique or obscure!"

"What's left?" I yelled it. "Normal, A.J. Normal is left!"

I don't do normal. I have a reputation to uphold. So I kept combing the streets of Crestport, Connecticut, looking for the essence of love to shoot when my own heart was ground into farina. I saw gray slushy sidewalks and February skies. I saw a little boy punch his sister in the stomach. I saw irritated shoppers, perfectly sculpted evergreens, and then I saw my worst nightmare-Peter Terris and Julia Hart walking hand in hand across Mariah Boulevard looking positively photogenic, oblivious to the winter muck clinging to their designer shoes. Peter brushed a strand of hair off Julia's face and kissed her pink nose. Julia nuzzled his shoulder like a lovesick kitten. They floated past me, the Perfect Teenage Couple, oozing Valentine's Day passion and Oracle cover potential. I turned from the hated scene drowning in waves of sadness and sank behind an evergreen in epic despair.


Excerpted from THWONK by JOAN BAUER Copyright © 1995 by Joan Bauer . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:


    the little cupid in this book was my favorite. this book was a really cute one, about a girl who didn't really fit in, and had a love for photography. one day while driving, and box flew in front of her car and she stopped to see what was inside it. it turned out to be a cupid doll that she kept to take a picture of. but at night time, the cupid doll came to life and told her that he will help her with photography, school, or her love life. i dont want to spoil it for you, but its a reallycute book!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2009

    cute book

    This book is a great read. jonathan a cupid, teaches the main character she cant choose who to love and for all the right reasons. i couldnt put the book down. It's cute and sweet.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2008

    THe best book

    when i first read this book the first 3 chapters just dragged on. But then when Cupid came in i could not put it down. If you like romance this would be a good book for you. I thought I could relate to it a lot thats why i love it. I strongly recommend people to read THWONK.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2007

    Pretty good book...

    This book was fairly good. it was slow to start, but eventually got my attention. It was a very quick read as well.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2006

    You have got to read this book!

    Thwonk is one of my all time favorite books! It caught my eye right away! I love love stories, and out of all the books I've read this one is the best! A.J. ( a love sick teenager) absolutely adores Peter Terris. But, unfortunetly, Peter is taken. Luckily on her way home from school she hits something. A stuffed Cupid. She brings it home and the next day, it comes alive! Out of three ways the Cupid (Jonathon) can help her, she picks romance because she needs a date to the King of Hearts Dance, which is only five days away. At first the author makes you think that the love arrow didn't work. I love books that do that. Turns out, the hottie isn't so hot anymore! He can't get enough of A.J. Nobody knew what was going on, and no body expected it. At the end A.J. gets really annoyed by him, and tell Jonathon to take the arrow back out. And the thing A.J. didn't want to happen, did. She was all alone for her King of Hearts Dance. This story is fantastic!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2006

    The most lovable book ever

    This is the most lovable book in the romance world. Once you start it you just can't take your nose out of it and if you do Johnathon [the cupid] will appear on your nose. Many people can relate to A.J. McCreary the main character falling to Peter Terris's feet, but Peter already has a girlfriend. When A.J. is driving down the street and she hits a stuffed cupid that comes to life and changes her life. And turns out into a disaster. At the King of Hearts Dance she is getting tired of Peter and gets Johnathon to shoot another arrow to get him to love Julia Heart and not A.J. Her photography is carrying on and she found a boyfriend. So whenever you hear a THWONK you know some one might of gotten lovestruck.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2005

    It was really cute!

    I thought that this book was really cute and creative. I enjoyed reading it. I love teenage romance books. I recommend this book HIGHLY! It was really really cute!! I love Johnathan the cupid! He was so funny, loved his personality!! It was really a nice and interesting story!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2014


    Hello Chloe I don't know but i would put a fake name not ur real one plus got to your nearest bn and ask a sales associate

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2009

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    DO NOT read this book!

    This book was horribly written. The plot is poor and the characters are watery. A.J. seems so obsessed with the boy that she is blinded and portrayed disappointingly. The plot is predictable and lousy. Although a quick and easy looking read, Thwonk was incredibly hard to get through. It took me about two weeks to finish it and I couldn't wait to do such. I thought it was terrible.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2006

    Very Good

    I really liked this book. This book is about a girl suffering of unrequited love, then she finds a cupid who comes to life, she asks the cupid to shoot an arrow at Peter the guy she really likes, after that Peter becomes a lovesick puppy who is obessed with her. At the beggining she enjoys it but later she comes to hate it. This book teaches a good lesson about love. I really recommend this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2005

    great book

    i really enjoyed reading this book. I fely that it had good conflicts throughout the book and the characters were good. I also thought the ending was great and the message i got from it was great.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2005

    Good Book

    I believe that this book was outstarnding! It was fun and sassy with a little twist. Some people might not like this book because the love that A.J. recieves from Peter is not real. The love is fake, from when a cupid shoots him(Peter)into falling in love with a girl that he does not even like.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2004


    This book was good, it dragged a little but everything was fine

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014


    Is this a good book? Also how do you get your name that says you wrote the review? Please respond to Chloe.

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  • Posted November 13, 2012

    This book takes place in a present day country. The characters i

    This book takes place in a present day country. The characters in this book are A.J., Jonathan, and Peter. A.J. soon begins to falll in love with a boy named Peter, but he seems not to like her. so one day A.J. was driving down the rode with her friend and discovers a stiffed cupid that flies out of a box. That night she decides to take it home. Then her dog wakes her up by barking at her then they go down to where he is also barking at. It turns out the cupid came to life. So he introduces himself as Jonathan. He said he can make any love wish come true. So she decides she wants Peter to fall in love with her, so she has the cupid shoot Peter in the heart with his arrow (that sounds like a thwonk). So then he begins to fall in love with A.J. Then she doesn't like it like this, so what do you think happens?
    I would recommend this book to people who like love story, fantasy stories, and happy scary things because if you read this book then end shows it all!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2010

    Don't Waste Your Time

    I read (or at least TRIED to read) this book about a year or so ago and COULD NOT get through it, and have been meaning to review it for some time now. I don't know what the author was thinking when she wrote it - I'm assuming she had a very tight deadline and just pulled this book right out of her behind, because it is just plain AWFUL. The main character is one of the stupidest characters I have ever read about, and she is totally unrelatable. And stupid. Did I mention stupid?

    The plot is horrible and it is such a slow, AGONIZING read. Please, if you know what's good for you, you won't buy or borrow this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2008

    A reviewer

    wow this is a very poorly written goes on and on about this girl pafetic life becoming good and bad over and over again. it has no meaning and it is a very bad book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2007

    Thwonk Disappoints

    As a fan of Joan Bauer¿s previous novel, Hope Was Here, I was thoroughly disappointed in this book. The first time I picked up Thwonk, I couldn¿t make it through the first page without dying of boredom. Half of this book is spent describing the totally cliché, sandy blond hair, blue-eyed Peter Terris whom A.J. is madly in love with. The plot was slow and unrealistic. Despite A.J.¿s whip smart humor, none of the characters were very appealing. Unless you are a huge fan of books where somewhat quirky and unconvincing cupid dolls come to life, I wouldn¿t recommend this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2003


    This book wasn't my fave but it was pretty good!! The first 2 or 3 chapters weren't very good but when the cupid, Jonathan, came into the story it got very interesting!! I recommend it for teenage girls.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2003


    I COULD NOT get through this book. And I am a reader. I always try to finish even the most horrible books but I just could not finish it. It was slow moving, unrealistic, and dragged on forever. After reading Hope Was Here, the first Joan Bauer book I read I was VERY disappointed.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews

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