When it comes to young adult books, Klein (Mom, the Wolf Man and Me) has shown herself to be a writer of wit and charm, a quality that extends to many of her adult titles as well (Give and Take). Her latest work falls into a murky area between these two camps, being a bit too sweet and juvenile for the second category, and perhaps a little too sophisticated for the first. At the start of his senior year in high school, Paul Gold is an aspiring playwright and a great, lolloping puppy of a guy. His even temper allows him to coexist equably with his young father, Phil, his remarried mother Penny, and even a disappointingly small, rather mangy dog named Baby that he walks after school. When Baby's owner, a young married woman named Zoe, responds to Paul's romantic overtures, he launches into a full-fledged affair of the heart. But while learning the rules of this game of love and deception, Paul is breaking other rules by writing about his experiences in school and out, and finding that life isn't often as simple as he'd hoped. Though the twists of his fate are fairly predictable, they amount to a warm and funny coming-of-age story set against a strong contemporary background. (June)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
$16.95. f Klein's latest bittersweet portrayal of contemporary adolescence will delight readers, especially young adults. An intellectually gifted but sexually inexperienced high school senior, Paul Gold hopes to find his niche as a playwright. After a fumbling encounter with a close female friend and a later, more serious affair with a 22-year-old married woman, Paul gains a new maturity plus material for two plays. Fictionalizing the romantic involvements that changed his life, Paul ponders whether a writer can use personal experience without compromising his integrity or angering those who shared the experience. Despite the omission of even the most casual references to safe sex, Klein tells this contemporary story realistically and sympathetically. Highly recommended. Ellen R. Cohen, Rockville, Md.