Synopses & Reviews
A haunting, contemporary love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Conversion
Its summertime in New York City, and aspiring filmmaker Wes Auckerman has just arrived to start his summer term at NYU. While shooting a séance at a psychics in the East Village, he meets a mysterious, intoxicatingly beautiful girl named Annie.
As they start spending time together, Wes finds himself falling for her, drawn to her rose petal lips and her entrancing glow. But theres something about her that he cant put his finger on that makes him wonder about this intriguing hipster girl from the Village. Why does she use such strange slang? Why does she always seem so reserved and distant? And, most importantly, why does he only seem to run into her on one block near the Bowery? Annies hiding something, a dark secret from her past that may be the answer to all of Wess questions . . .
"In Levithan's (Boy Meets Boy) clever but rather thin retelling of A Christmas Carol, he casts sad teenaged Ben as Scrooge. Because of his girlfriend's death from cancer, he has a 'bah humbug' attitude about love as Valentine's Day approaches. His girlfriend, Marly, appears to him as a ghost, telling him he will be visited by the Ghost of Love Past, Present and Future. After their visit, Ben realizes that 'giving up on love is the same thing as giving up on life itself.' There are some fun adaptations in this modern version; Tiny Tim, for example, is not a boy who may die, but rather a young gay couple (Tiny and Tim) at risk of breaking up. But the book, attractively packaged as an unjacketed, red cloth-covered hardcover featuring a black-and-gold embossed heart bordered with chains, takes a bit too long to unfold. While readers will sympathize with Ben who says he 'wanted to die' without Marly, they will likely be ready for some action long before Marly's ghost arrives. The witty writing is also a bit too self-conscious at times (at a present-day anti Valentine's Day party, 'only the sadder love songs would be broadcast tonight: The Cure with no sense of a cure, breakup breakdowns and long-player longings'). Selznick's cross-hatch pen-and-inks give a nod to Victorian drawings and boost the novel's haunting aura. In the end, this novel has charm, but is likely more memorable for its premise than for its story line. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The magical realism is powerful throughout, especially in the love story. . . . A solid story . . . (Booklist)
A great addition to the literature of the (ValentineÆs) holiday season. (Kirkus Reviews)
Two of children's literature's brightest stars present this compelling novel about loss that puts a modern twist on Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol." When his girlfriend Marly dies, Ben takes a painful journey through Valentine's Days past, present, and future. Young Adult.
When Ben's girlfriend, Marly, dies, he feels his life is over. What could possibly matter now when Marly is gone? So when Valentine's Day approaches, it makes sense that this day that was once so meaningful to Ben leaves him feeling bitter and hollow. But then Marly shows up--or at least her ghost does--along with three others spirits. Now Ben must take a painful journey through Valentine's Days past, present, and future, and what he discovers will change him forever.
About the Author
David Levithan is a New York Times
bestselling and award-winning author of many books for teens, including Boy Meets Boy
, Every Day
, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
(with Rachel Cohn), and Will Grayson, Will Grayson
(with John Green). He is also a publisher and editorial director at Scholastic and teaches at The New School in New York. He lives in New Jersey.
Brian Selznick graduated from Rhode Island School of Design. He has since gone on to be an award-winning author-illustrator of many books for children, including The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which won the Caldecott Medal in 2008 and was adapted into the Academy Award-winning film Hugo (directed by Martin Scorsese) and the New York Times bestseller Wonderstruck. Brian lives in Brooklyn, New York, and San Diego, California.