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BROTHERS, BOYFRIENDS, & OTHER CRIMINAL MINDS by April Lurie

BROTHERS, BOYFRIENDS, & OTHER CRIMINAL MINDS

By April Lurie

Age Range: 12 - 14

Pub Date: June 12th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-385-73124-9
Publisher: Delacorte

Too much heavy-handed telling weakens this tale of 14-year-old April Lundquist’s life in 1977 Brooklyn. Much of the plot follows April as she experiences typical teen traumas: falling for a bad boy, feeling misunderstood by her parents and getting stuck babysitting her younger brother. Then there are the less-likely elements, like the fact that she’s so nonchalant about living on a block with three Mafioso murderers. Not to mention the subplot that involves April’s older brother, the beautiful daughter of a different Mafioso and a production of Romeo and Juliet. Lurie describes the era accurately, from music to fashion, but never quite brings the setting to life. The same is true, unfortunately, for her characters, who fall a bit too neatly into stock categories. As a result, April’s story, although full of incident, seems unlikely to stir much interest in contemporary teen readers. (Fiction. 12-14)