Jon Ripslinger, Author Harcourt Children's Books $10.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-15-200048-6
The long-standing friendship of three Iowa teens turns into a twisted web of jealousy, deceit and suspicion the summer after they graduate from high school. Darin, paralyzed from the waist down from a swimming-pool accident two years earlier, grows increasingly combative and hostile toward best buddy Jeremy and his own girlfriend, Joy, a softball star with a good shot at a college scholarship. Motivated by misguided feelings of guilt, Joy and Jeremy vow to stand by Darin even though they have fallen in love with each other and have begun to sleep together, ``just for the experience.'' Other issues intensifying the already complex state of affairs include Joy's mysterious illness during a series of championship ballgames, her unplanned pregnancy, a case of blackmail, Darin's father's alcoholism and questions about Jeremy's parentage. This jam-packed first novel written by a high-school teacher will keep the reader fully absorbed, and the plot is, to a large extent, protected against melodrama by the voice of the salt-of-the-earth narrator, Jeremy. While characters' responses to various dilemmas are generally convincing as well as moving, Joy's decision to keep her baby and juggle motherhood with college and sports comes off as naive and preordained. Ages 12-up. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-15-200049-3
Prebound-Other - 978-0-7857-3306-5
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