cover image Winter Dreams, Christmas Love

Winter Dreams, Christmas Love

Mary Francis Shura. Scholastic, $3.5 (343pp) ISBN 978-0-590-44672-3

This lengthy tale of obsessive love begins when Ellen, 14, meets Michael, a popular high-school junior. Responding to the young man's immediate and intense effect on her, Ellen soon realizes she's in love. Michael's friendly overtures have Ellen believing he returns her affections, but she feels otherwise when he constantly comments on their age difference. A sensible girl, she tries desperately to forget him with a busy schedule and other relationships, but for two years Michael's hold on her continues. Shura ( The Sunday Doll ; Don't Call Me Toad ) conveys unerringly the hurt and befuddlement engendered by a passive romance. Yet the largely internal story grows repetitive, and some sentences are either ungrammatical (``She acted hateful'') or badly cast (``The girl wasn't anything like as pretty as Val''). Ellen's suffering may, however, strike a responsive chord with readers; in any case they will certainly sympathize with her experience. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)