Heartbreak and Roses

Janet Bode, Author, Stan Mack, With
Janet Bode, Author, Stan Mack, With Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $15.95 (158p) ISBN 978-0-385-32068-9
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-21966-8
Prebound-Sewn - 158 pages - 978-0-606-08542-7
Paperback - 143 pages - 978-0-531-16464-8
Library Binding - 143 pages - 978-0-531-11776-7
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-19403-7
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-72733-4
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In this compassionate and compelling work, Bode ( The Voices of Rape ) and Village Voice cartoonist Mack assemble a dozen real-life stories from teenagers involved in various types of relationships, both positive and negative. While sex is a concern common to many of the stories, the collection explores a wide variety of other issues--coping with a disability, violence, interracial dating, self-acceptance, codependence and breaking up among them. Unobtrusive onlookers who offer neither answers nor judgments, Bode and Mack relay each story as if merely transcribing the words of its narrator. Nor have they, apparently, toned down their subjects' language. When Suki frankly discusses being raped by a boyfriend, the pain feels real, as does the healing she experiences through the understanding of her current boyfriend. Seth's emotional turmoil when he discovers that he is gay, and the way he deals with a crush on a good friend, reflect the loneliness of the many gay teens who feel alienated from their peers. Two segments, one about a girl involved with a racist skinhead and the other about the trials of unrequited love, are effectively rendered as cartoons (``Think of them as videos in book form,'' write these canny authors). Fact boxes scattered between chapters contain salient newspaper articles and statistics about teen sexuality. Ages 12-up. (Aug.)
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