Thursday, January 22, 2009

Poised at the Edge Book Review
Carrie Jones
Belle of TIPS ON HAVING A GAY (EX) BOYFRIEND is back, exploring the ins and outs of young love. Here's the problem, she's not getting any! Her best friend Em can't keep her hands off Shawn. Even her widowed mother has a great new boyfriend who makes her giggle like a teenager. Dylan (her gay ex.) seems to be getting along great with his significant other. But in spite of the fact that Belle has a super-cute, super-nice new boyfriend, there just isn't much happening. No "I love yous" and no doing "it."
Belle has a really hard time trusting life, and trusting people. Her ex-boyfriend of two years's confession that he's really gay left her feeling unsure of her own lovability. Also, she feels empty and abandoned by her father, who died in the first Iraq war. Now Tom, her new boyfriend, feels like he's holding back and moving too slow. Belle really only trusts her guitar and her music. She likes to make order out of the chaos of her life by making lists.
When Belle's best friend Em finds herself in a serious life-altering crisis, Belle is forced to evaluate her whole purpose in life. It's her number one job to be a protective steadfast friend. Maybe her "problems" are really not that significant after all. Maybe she really has been too self-involved. Now is the time to let go of all her hang-ups, and really trust herself. By being true to herself she is able to be a better friend, a better girlfriend, and a better daughter.
LOVE (AND OTHER USES FOR DUCT TAPE) is just as beautifully introspective as Carrie Jones's first book. Carrie Jones is an outstanding writer, who tells quiet stories full of heart and eloquence. Her characters are well-developed, and thought out. Her writing is poetic, yet never flowery. I look forward to hearing more from her in the future.

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