Tuesday, December 20, 2005

How's this for exciting?

Our blog is going to be linked to the CLP - Teens website! I don't know about you, but I find this quite exciting. Of course, it does mean that we need to come up with exciting, witty things to say more regularly...

Exciting and witty is not the mood I'm in right now, though, thanks to the book I just finished. Sandpiper, by Ellen Wittlinger, is a truly EXCELLENT book. Uplifting it's not, however.

Sandpiper is a novel about a teenage girl (named Sandpiper Hollow, after the place her parents met) who for several years has convinced herself that the way to get boys to like her is to give them oral sex. As you can imagine, this begins to complicate her life as she realizes that the boys are using her -- one boy in particular can't get over the fact that he was dumped (Sandpiper realized she really didn't like him all that much), and his friend (who Sandpiper had hooked up with) was also dumped, and they decide to get back at her.

It's when Derek and Andrew are harrassing Sandpiper that she first meets the mysterious Walker, who wanders around town in a black leather jacket, even though it's summer. Walker won't tell Sandpiper anything about his life, not even his real name. He does, however, assure Sandpiper that she's better than those boys think she is. She's even better than she thinks he is.

Sandpiper has a lot to learn about who she is, about self-respect, about how far is too far. This is the kind of book that really goes straight to your gut. From the first page, you know that Sandpiper's geared to self-destruct, and you can only keep your fingers crossed that she's able to succeed.

This is not the book to read if you want to laugh...but if you want to think, and you want to feel, it's definitely a great choice.

Ellen Wittlinger's books are all kind of like this -- the plots differ wildly, but they all kind of attack you down at the bottom of your soul and make you want to grab the characters by their shoulders and shake some sense into them. Some other books by Wittlinger are Hard Love, Heart on my Sleeve, and ZigZag. She has her own website at www.ellenwittlinger.com if you'd like to find out more about her or her books. I remember reading somewhere that she has a blog of her own, but I can't find the link. If I do find it, I'll add it.

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