School Library Journal
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Gr 9 Up-When Alyssa's father discovers her in a compromising position with her girlfriend, the 17-year-old finds herself banished to the fabulous Colorado home of Carly, the mother she barely knows. Though Alyssa is disgusted with her father for being judgmental and homophobic, she makes some of the same morality judgments about her mother's exotic dancing and her other job as a supposed masseuse/personal trainer with clients who call at all hours. Asserting her independence, the teen lands a summer job at the Egg Drop Inn, where everyone seems to recognize her as "Carly's girl." Slowly she begins to build an extended family with the owner, Arlo; with the customers; and especially with an attractive young waitress, Finn, all the while struggling to work out her relationships with her parents. Told mainly in a first-person narrative, with somewhat intrusive second-person flashbacks explaining the past year, this soap-opera tale juggles themes of first love, coming out, friendship betrayal, homophobia, abandonment, grief, and forgiveness. While it's difficult to juggle so many balls without dropping a few, She Loves You is still an entertaining read.-Betty S. Evans, Missouri State University, Springfield (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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When 17-year-old Alyssa's homophobic father kicks her out, she goes to live with the mother she barely knows, a stripper who her father suspects to be a "high-class hooker." But Alyssa has her own secrets, including what exactly happened with her ex-girlfriend the night "it all came crashing down." Peters (Rage: A Love Story) interweaves flashbacks about Alyssa's relationship with Sarah with her new life in Colorado, where she waitresses at a greasy diner, develops a new crush, and learns about past traumas her mother has packed away. There is an excess of plot points to track, and some characters feel scripted-such as Alyssa's gruff, wheelchair-bound boss-but readers will appreciate Alyssa's honesty as she slowly reveals the details of her desperate break-up with Sarah, after which Alyssa's behavior veered into stalking ("I have no control over myself; not then, not now. Even though I knew it was over, I just needed to hear the words from her own lips"). Readers will also respect Peters's choice to give Alyssa new hope without tying up all the loose ends in her life. Ages 15-up. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Hurt, anger, betrayal, and love drive this passionate story told by Alyssa, 17, whose father throws her out of their Virginia Beach home when he finds out that she is a lesbian. After moving to Colorado to live with the mother she doesn't remember, who works as a stripper and maybe a call girl, Alyssa gets a job in a local diner. Even as she continues to grieve over the betrayal of her girlfriend back in Virginia Beach, who kissed another friend, she falls in love with a fellow waitress, who denies she is lesbian. Peters tries to weave in too many plot strands and characters, but the contemporary story blends details from teens' worlds with fast-moving action that moves between Alyssa's past and present. Many teens will relate to the details of hectic waitressing work with demanding customers, and the story of friends, family, and lovers will pull readers into the deeper themes of trust, rejection, and intimate secrets revealed.--Rochman, Haze. Copyright 2010 Booklist