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Just as the title promises, this is a romance sort of. Fifteen-year-old Vinnie happens upon the phone number of his crush, Patsy, and calls her at midnight only to blurt out the kind of vulgar statement that would make an obscene phone caller proud. He calls again, once more at midnight, to apologize. So begins a strange dial-a-relationship between two teens who come to realize their similarity: If I'm screwed up it's okay, because we both are. Vinnie keeps his identity secret he thinks of his confident phone persona as Vincenzo but Patsy is angling to meet at the masked Valentine's Day dance. If you've seen your share of teen movies, you know what's afoot: Patsy develops an interest in the real Vinnie and begins discussing him with Vincenzo. What to do?! There are a number of plot and character stretches here, and Patsy's interest in her phone stalker never quite washes. However, the general lack of serious incident and sprinkling of family drama mark this for what it is: a light, diverting read that goes down easy.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Fifteen-year-old Vinnie is not excited to move from Queens to Long Island with his newly remarried mother, but his attitude softens a bit after he glimpses the beautiful girl next door from his bedroom window. Unfortunately, when he calls Patsy, he loses his nerve and his voice, and Patsy pegs him as a "breather." Rather than explain himself, Vinnie impulsively plays the role of a mystery man/obscene caller, piquing Patsy's interest during the series of calls that follow. Soon, midnight phone conversations with Patsy are part of Vinnie's regular routine; the two establish an intimate relationship of sorts, speaking openly about matters they'd never discuss in public. When Patsy expresses her desire to meet in person, Vinnie, fearing rejection, is at a loss. Set in the 1970s, this offbeat love story humorously portrays the moments of vulnerability and bravado that change the course of these two teenagers' fates. Couloumbis (Lexie) steadily builds tension (the romance between Patsy and Vinnie never feels like a foregone conclusion) in a story with superb comedic repartees and a twisty-turvy plot. Ages 12-up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Grinberg Literary Management. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal
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Gr 9 Up-A story set on Long Island, New York, in 1977. Vinnie Gold has just turned 15, his dog dies soon thereafter, his crush moves away, and his parents announce they are getting a divorce. A good deal of this book is spent exploring with family dynamics after the breakup. Vinnie's mom ends up marrying Mr. Buonofuco, Vinnie's gym teacher. His dad, on the other hand, never wanted a divorce, but eventually begins to create a new life for himself. While Vinnie's family life is changing, so is his personal life. He moves to the suburbs with his mom and Mr. B and develops a crush on his next-door neighbor, Patsy, who, as luck would have it, is incredibly attractive and goes to his school. He accidentally acquires her unlisted phone number and decides to call her-night after night after night. At first she is angry, but as time goes by, they develop a relationship. A third of the way through the book readers may become tired of Vinnie's calls and disturbed at his stalkerish behavior. However, if they continue, they will find that he grows up and turns out to be a decent guy. This novel deals with many hard topics surrounding divorce, insecurity, and relationhips.-Jesse L. Ray, Seattle Public Library, WA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.