Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lost It

Tracy, Kristen. 2007. Lost It.

The best thing about Lost It, a new release from Simon Pulse's paperback collection, is the narrative style. Tess Whistle's voice is funny, quirky, and one-of-a kind. While there are many young adult books about first loves and heartaches, not many feature heroines who have best friends that threaten to blow up poodles or have parents that go away 'to find themselves' in Utah at some weird hippie-like six-week seminar, or a grandmother who openly discusses sex and lingerie. So in some ways, Lost It is a complete original. Tess is a junior in high school. Ben, her love interest, comes into her life when she embarrassingly drops a can/bottle of apple juice on his head. Even though he's a senior, she has a top locker--he has a bottom locker. To cover up her embarrassment, she tells a little white lie that will come to haunt her: she's a diabetic with low blood sugar. Embarrassed to be so clumsy. Embarrassed to be drinking a 'babyish' drink. The problem with the lie is that she can't get out of it--she doesn't quite know her. He starts to talk to her. He starts to like her. How can she tell him that their first conversation was a complete lie? So he's always 'helping' her keep track of what she eats...reminding her to take care of herself...and she keeps letting him believe the lie. She doesn't think there is any harm in it. After all, she didn't plan on telling the lie. She didn't use it as an odd flirtatious move. It wasn't a scheme to win his heart. It just slipped out. But their relationship doesn't always go so smoothly. It seems that one of them is always playing hard to get. She wants him most when he is pushing her away, and vice versa. In fact, once Tess realizes that the key to keeping him is to play at disinterest, she begins to be untrue to herself in more way than one. Her life becomes focused on Ben...on keeping him interested...keeping him happy...keeping him focused, and less on being herself....loving herself. So in a way, her relationship that began with a lie, is filled with lies of one kind or another.

The book is enjoyable, but it has a few minor flaws as well. Flaws that make me wonder whether any human reads it--really reads it--before it is published. (The use of 'leaned' instead of 'learned', 'kidnaped' instead of 'kidnapped', and the oddest one of all, 'grocery story' instead of 'grocery store'. (61, 161, 177)


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