Book Review: Pretend You Love Me by: Julie Anne Peters

Rating: 5/5

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publish Date: May 10, 2011

Origins: From Publisher for Review

Format: Trade Paperback

Order From:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble  


Isolation. Abandonment. Death. Too much pain in Mike Szabo’s life. Add to it the futility of unattainable goals and Mike’s future seems bleak. But the confines of a small Kansas community are exploded when Xanadu, an exotic newcomer, arrives in town. Xanadu is a light, a candle, a glimmer of hope in Mike’s heart. Only one problem: Xanadu is straight. Can a gay person love a straight person, and vice versa? Or are there physical and emotional distances that never can—and never should—be crossed?

Julie Anne Peters has written a heartbreaking yet ultimately hopeful novel that will speak to anyone who has ever fallen in love with someone who can't love them back.

Review: I read Pretend You Love Me when it came out in hardcover as Far From Xanadu. Reading it again, Pretend You Love Me still has the impact it did when I read it the first time. Have you ever loved someone who can't or won't love you back?

This is what is happening to Mike Szabo, who is many things - a great fast-pitch softball player, friend, plumber - but is caught up in the grief of her father's suicide, her mother's denial by food, and her brother's acting out. Then she walks into Mike's English class - Xanadu. From the first, Mike feels something for Xanadu - something she's never felt before. Mike's known for the longest time that she's a lesbian, but she hadn't had feelings for any girl until Xanadu. Will Mike choose the girl who can't love her over her future??

I found myself rooting for Mike the entire time - caught up in her hurt, pain, and discovery of joyful feelings. I felt like Xanadu was a good example of someone who leads a person on, knowing how they feel about them, but will never reciprocate. I love the characters and how realistic Ms. Peters made life in small-town Kansas. This is a great book and I highly recommend it! Ms. Peters has a way with words that makes you want to revisit the world she's created over and over again.


1 comment:

  1. This sounds heartbreaking for some reason! I think I would enjoy reading this.


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