Unexpected Development

Unexpected Development

3.8 5
by Marlene Perez
     
 

"I'm not sure you really want to get into what I did this summer, Mrs. Westland. Sex. Sex is how I spent my summer vacation."

Megan knows twenty different words for "breasts," and can recite them alphabetically-but she can't remember the last time a guy looked her in the eye first, not the chest

Size matters, as Megan found out in the 5 th grade,

Overview

"I'm not sure you really want to get into what I did this summer, Mrs. Westland. Sex. Sex is how I spent my summer vacation."

Megan knows twenty different words for "breasts," and can recite them alphabetically-but she can't remember the last time a guy looked her in the eye first, not the chest

Size matters, as Megan found out in the 5 th grade, when she developed the largest breasts in the class. Now she's 17 and wearing her twin brothers' baggy sweatshirts can't hide the fact-two facts, really. When her summer job at Pancake Palace puts her in close touch with Jake , who smells like "temptation and Ivory soap," Megan wonders if he can like her for herself, not just her body. Can lusty, busty Megan learn to trust Jake -and herself? Megan tells about her summer of sex in somewhat poignant and very funny journal entries to her favorite teacher.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Publishers Weekly

In this debut novel, written as a "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" essay, narrator Megan addresses her teacher, reflecting on seeing "the best and the worst in [guys]" and her struggles with a body that "polite people call top-heavy." During the summer before her senior year, Megan attracts the attention of her longtime crush, Jake, who works alongside her at the Pancake Palace, faces both a sexually harassing bully and boss, and grapples with whether or not to have breast-reduction surgery. Megan is likable and funny (she says Jake "smell[s] like temptation and Ivory soap") and Perez focuses on a compelling body-image issue. Megan wears baggy clothes and not only must she listen to warnings from her mother ("Boys Jake's age have only one thing on their minds"), but she, too, worries that that's all Jake wants. Readers will find Megan easy to relate to, but may find some of the book's other elements troublesome. Her pervert boss's affair with a promiscuous co-worker, for instance, reads as stereotypical, and her shopping trip and heart-to-heart with her often-hurtful mother wraps things up a bit too easily. While these elements detract from the novel, Megan's appealing character will draw readers in, and will likely make the audience hope for more from this promising writer. Ages 12-up.

Booklist

Gr. 7-12. "Most guys don't even see me, they only see my cup size." Megan's big breasts literally get in the way of everything. Even love. Nearly 17, she has been fighting off stares and rude comments for years. Her mother warns her that boys want only one thing from "girls like you," and at the pancake house where she works, her boss tries to grope her. She has always had a crush on Jake, and when he asks her out, she wonders if he is just like everyone else. Megan's first-person narrative demonstrates that Jake is right when he says she is smart, beautiful, and funny, and the teens have great sex (Megan's girlfriend teaches her about birth control), but, of course, none of that means happy ever after. Teens will be drawn to this wry first novel for its rare honesty about body image, romance, and sex and for its subtle message: love can mean confusion and anger as well as bliss.

School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–First-novelist Perez uses the tired formula of journal entries to a teacher to frame this bittersweet story of nearly 17-year-old Megan, a girl with a problem–a double D-sized problem, to be exact. She collects huge, loose shirts to conceal her voluptuous figure and knows 20 different words for "breasts" and can recite them alphabetically. Megan despairs of ever finding a boyfriend who will lock eyes with her instead of focusing on her chest. When the object of her daydreams breaks up with his girlfriend and asks her out, the teen finds it difficult to believe that Jake sees anything above her collarbone, but tentatively agrees to give the relationship a try. It's hard for him to gain her trust, especially when her boss and almost every other male she encounters attempt to grope her, but eventually she lets down her guard enough to become physically involved with him. Other issues, such as Megan's best friend's family situation and a coworker's affair with the above-mentioned boss, are not as well developed, but overall Perez is an author worth watching. The eye-catching cover will ensure heavy circulation.

Publishers Weekly
In this debut novel, written as a "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" essay, narrator Megan addresses her teacher, reflecting on seeing "the best and the worst in [guys]" and her struggles with a body that "polite people call top-heavy." During the summer before her senior year, Megan attracts the attention of her longtime crush, Jake, who works alongside her at the Pancake Palace, faces both a sexually harassing bully and boss, and grapples with whether or not to have breast-reduction surgery. Megan is likable and funny (she says Jake "smell[s] like temptation and Ivory soap") and Perez focuses on a compelling body-image issue. Megan wears baggy clothes and not only must she listen to warnings from her mother ("Boys Jake's age have only one thing on their minds"), but she, too, worries that that's all Jake wants. Readers will find Megan easy to relate to, but may find some of the book's other elements troublesome. Her pervert boss's affair with a promiscuous co-worker, for instance, reads as stereotypical, and her shopping trip and heart-to-heart with her often-hurtful mother wraps things up a bit too easily. While these elements detract from the novel, Megan's appealing character will draw readers in, and will likely make the audience hope for more from this promising writer. Ages 12-up. (Sept.). Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
When Mrs. Westland asks her senior class to write on the theme "How I Spent My Summer Vacation," she gets more than she ever expected in Megan's candid response. In a series of essays, the girl tells the story of her summer, in explicit detail, from her part-time job at Pancake Palace to the surprising relationship that develops with her childhood friend, Jake Darrow. Because Mrs. Westland once helped her deal with a boy who was molesting her, Megan feels like she can trust the teacher. Her assignment provides a safe context for Megan to explore her feelings about love, sex, commitment, and her own body. Any girl who has developed breasts early will appreciate this book, as will any girl who has ever experienced love. Teachers and parents may feel a bit uncomfortable about the prevalence of alcohol in this story, and perhaps Perez should have omitted it from Megan and Jake's first time. However, all things considered, this is a sweet coming-of-age story and an honest look at adolescent development that deserves to be read. 2004, Deborah Brodie/Roaring Brook, Ages 14 up.
—Heidi Hauser Green
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-First-novelist Perez uses the tired formula of journal entries to a teacher to frame this bittersweet story of nearly 17-year-old Megan, a girl with a problem-a double D-sized problem, to be exact. She collects huge, loose shirts to conceal her voluptuous figure and knows 20 different words for "breasts" and can recite them alphabetically. Megan despairs of ever finding a boyfriend who will lock eyes with her instead of focusing on her chest. When the object of her daydreams breaks up with his girlfriend and asks her out, the teen finds it difficult to believe that Jake sees anything above her collarbone, but tentatively agrees to give the relationship a try. It's hard for him to gain her trust, especially when her boss and almost every other male she encounters attempt to grope her, but eventually she lets down her guard enough to become physically involved with him. Other issues, such as Megan's best friend's family situation and a coworker's affair with the above-mentioned boss, are not as well developed, but overall Perez is an author worth watching. The eye-catching cover will ensure heavy circulation.-Susan Riley, Mount Kisco Public Library, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Generously busted Megan has two primary goals for the summer: to have breast-reduction surgery before her sophomore year begins, and to somehow, some way, nab dreamy Jake Darrow, the guy she's had a crush on since seventh grade. The surgery isn't so complicated; she can make the appointment herself without telling her parents. Getting Jake proves tougher though, especially since he's practically engaged to bombshell Savannah Robins. But when Megan finds out Savannah's on vacation all summer, and Jake just happens to work in the same pancake house as she, she can't help but seize the opportunity to pursue him. Perez's first attempt at the romance genre opens with a bang as its punchy, in-your-face narrator begins her original story as a How I Spent My Summer Vacation essay. However, the big boob jokes grow old quickly, and a pedophilia subplot causes the otherwise clever and quirky romance to unravel. Perez eventually wraps up too many issues way too quickly, ultimately rendering a potentially provocative love story into a sanitizingly unsatisfying issue piece. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596430068
Publisher:
Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:
08/04/2004
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.64(w) x 8.66(h) x 0.77(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

"I'm not sure you really want to get into what I did this summer, Mrs. Westland. Sex. Sex is how I spent my summer vacation."

Meet the Author

Marlene Perez lives in Southern California. This is her first book.

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Unexpected Development 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved this book 'cause it's based on true life.i totaly felt like the girl in this story countin' on the fact i had the biggest boobs in 5th grade,but the good part is i grew into them.this book is full of romance but i was kinda' dissapointed at the end. i really wish she made a 2nd one so we could see what ends up with jake's and her relationship.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i finished this book in 2 days, it was really good and kept my attention. and i dont get why in the front cover (bookflap) it makes it seem like the book is all about sex, becaues its not, only like 2 parts are. great book for teens or anyone who loves romances
Guest More than 1 year ago
i can relate with meghan because i have big boobs too and it sucks you don't know the dudes intentions and you mostly attract atention you don't want from the scum of the earth! it was an awesome book
Guest More than 1 year ago
It taolks about how this girl works around having big breast and her ups and downs. Its pretty good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago