Are U 4 Real?

Sara Kadefors, Author, Tara Chace, Translator Dial Books $16.99 (311p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3276-6
In this bestselling Swedish novel, Kadefors shows a thorough understanding of teenage dialogue and anxieties. When they first meet online, L.A. party girl, Kyla, and male ballet dancer, Alex, are careful not to reveal too much about their troubled backgrounds. But as lies lead to hurtful misunderstandings, truths about their dysfunctional families and problems with friends emerge (Kyla's mother is clinically depressed; Alex's Russian mother is overbearing and overprotective). Email messages, inserted into the text, reveal plenty of emotion (""Why can't our moms get that we're human beings, not some puppets they can use to act out scenes in the lives they want?""), but little information about specific issues; Kadefors's third-person narrative proves more enlightening in revealing the teens' conflicts and insecurities. There are some pacing problems: it seems to take forever for Kyla and Alex to feel comfortable enough with each other to be honest, and the story's denouement drags on. However, there is enough drama present throughout the book to keep readers on board until Kyla's and Alex's roller-coaster relationship turns into a romantic connection. Ages 14-up.
Reviewed on: 05/11/2009
Release date: 05/01/2009
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 978-1-101-05395-9
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-1-101-05473-4
Open Ebook - 978-1-101-05707-0
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