IN YOUR DREAMS by Colin Neenan


Age Range: 12 & up
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 A teenager goes through the emotional wringer in this funny, exhausting first novel. Sandwiched between older brother Tom, a football star, and gifted younger sister Tracy, who treats him ``like dust on a table,'' Hale understandably feels like an underachiever. Despite a healthy dose of self-consciousness and the creeping worry that he's a sexual deviant since he's obsessed with the subject of sex, he has no trouble meeting women: specifically, Clay, a classmate with an unconventional mind (``Why a duck?'' she greets him aggressively on the first day of school) and bizarre taste in dress; and Tom's gorgeous girlfriend Sheri, to whom, Cyrano-like, he writes letters for his brother and calls frequently besides. He is all talk, though, never having even kissed a member of the opposite sex--``I'm a lips virgin,'' he confesses in one phone call. In a plot composed entirely of crises, revelations, and stress-building encounters, all described in an adrenaline-charged first-person narrative, Hale reveals a tendency to say things (true and not) that later come back to haunt him, but also the fundamental decency to try to make things right. He receives his just reward on a class trip to New York City where, to his pulse- pounding incredulity, he and Clay discover enough common ground for friendship. As usual in YA novels, the women are more self- possessed than the men, and most adults don't have a clue, but Neenan offers far more than easy laughs. A winning debut. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-15-200885-3
Page count: 243pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1995