LOMBARDO'S LAW by Ellen Wittlinger


Age Range: 10 - 14
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 In a witty, touching first novel, 15-year-old Justine Trainor's borderline nerd image is pushed to the limit when Justine spends time with new neighbor Mike Lombardo, an eighth grader who shares her passion for avant-garde movies. Justine's mom encourages her friendship with Mike's gorgeous airhead sister Heather, but as Mike points out, ``no one I could like could possibly like my sister. Lombardo's Law.'' Still, Justine agrees to a disastrous double date with Heather and her boyfriend and falls into a boring relationship with a boy at school, just to appear ``normal.'' When the two screen buffs decide to produce a video spoofing 2001: A Space Odyssey, the local cable station airs it, their budding talents are recognized, and they're forced to acknowledge their attraction to each other. Deft characterization (of even minor players like Mike's agoraphobic mother and Justine's oversolicitous parents) and a breezy style recalling Brock Cole's Celine contribute to a well-crafted story in a voice that's true to the emotional confusion of adolescence while maintaining a light touch; literary and cinematic references add interest without detracting from the central theme of first love. All will cheer when Mike proclaims, after a rotten second-floor railing lands him on the ground with Justine praying he hasn't been killed, ``A fall from a balcony deserves a kiss...Lombardo's law.'' (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-395-65969-8
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1993


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