Lois A. Strell

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 144

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Beginner's Love is hardly for beginners. And yet, what adult would bother reading a slow moving book about two 17 year olds just for a little sex? On the other hand, some teens would read a poorly written book, with shallow characters, minimal plot and insipid dialogue, just for a little sex. But in this case, they'd probably skim "for the good parts." Shy Joel has trouble meeting G-I-R-L-S…. Joel tells the story in first person "stream of ramble." The dialogue is written in Valley Girl talk ("Like, you know …," followed by some long-winded and tiresome thought). Every other sentence alludes to sex whether it's necessary or not…. The depth of dialogue, feeling and emotion is embarrassingly shallow. This makes [Judy Blume's] Forever seem like Pulitzer Prize material.

Lois A. Strell, in a review of "Beginner's Love," in School Library Journal, Vol. 30, No. 2, October, 1983, p. 180.


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