Happily Ever After

Hila Colman, Author Scholastic $2.25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-590-33551-5
Melanie Streeter met Paul Wenzle in second grade and has loved him all her life. Friends take it for granted that they are ""together'' and so does Melanie. But when she's 16, Melanie wants hand-holding and light kissing to lead to more serious love. She feels passionate toward Paul and wants him to want her, but he doesn't. When he takes a trip to Mexico, Melanie is afraid he'll fall for some other girl. Instead, Paul meets Andrew, and finally admits what he'd only suspectedthat he is gay. When he returns, he tells Melanie the truth. The plot, gently rendered in the beginning, starts to fray here. Melanie is disbelieving, hurt and mad, or so we're toldthe reader isn't really drawn into Melanie's problems and doesn't understand her anguish. She then finds the strength to help Paul face his family, and decides that he'll just be her good friend. The ending is too pat, especially following a few scenes where different gay stereotypes are brought up didactically, only to be dismissed. Melanie is clingy, a hanger-on, rather than a girl who learns from love lost, and love (in a different sense) regained. (12up)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1986
Release date: 05/01/1986
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