Can't Hear You Listening

Hadley Irwin, Author Margaret K. McElderry Books $16 (202p) ISBN 978-0-689-50513-3
Tracy Spencer, a high school junior, can't seem to get along with her mother. Perhaps it's because Mrs. Spencer, a bestselling author, has been transformed by her sudden fame; she has even initiated a trial separation with Tracy's easygoing father. Tracy is equally distressed by the alarming metamorphosis of her childhood friend Stanley. She is puzzled by Stanley's frequent dalliances with drugs and alcohol. Drunken stupors, close calls with the police, going into debt to support his indulgences, and eventually resorting to drug dealing haven't dampened Stanley's zeal for ``feeling happy.'' Deeply concerned, Tracy ultimately consults the one person whose advice she knows will help. The story starts out slowly, and the stream-of-consciousness style could leave readers wondering where it's all headed. Yet the first-person narrative is amusing, the dialogue first-rate and the novel's subject matter merits attention. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Genre: Children's
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