LOVES ME, LOVES ME NOT by Anilú Bernardo


Age Range: 12 - 14
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paper 1-55885-259-X A cardboard romance enlivened slightly by its Cuban-American milieu. Maggie is smart and focused; she wants to be a nurse, as her mother is, and scarcely recalls her father, who died just out of medical school when she was a baby. Maggie and her best friend, Susie, live in Miami; they are typical teenagers whose Cuban background is evident in their use of Spanglish and in family customs and food. Maggie pines for golden jock Zach, the grandson of an elderly woman, Mrs. Maxwell, whom she helps around the house; her crush so blinds her that she refuses to see that Zach is careless of his grandmother’s needs and feelings, and dismissive of Maggie’s heritage. In a subplot, Susie sets Maggie up with Justin, her boyfriend Carlos’s best friend. Standard teen temptations are created and demolished: Justin barely escapes getting into a fight; Carlos pressures Susie for sex so she breaks up with him. A climactic Christmas dinner with Zach’s family, where Maggie is Mrs. Maxwell’s guest because her own mother has to work, convinces her of Zach’s true nature. Everything’s a little too easy and neat, but Maggie’s veering from sensible to silly will comfort teenagers who do the same. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Dec. 30th, 1998
ISBN: 1-55885-258-1
Page count: 182pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1998