LEAP BEFORE YOU LOOK by Mary Stolz

LEAP BEFORE YOU LOOK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Compared to Judy Blume's family break-up (in younger fiction, above), this story of a girl's survival of her parent's separation and divorce is long, heavy, and humorless. Ms. Stolz's talent for making a midcult much of adolescent trials and introspection is abundantly in evidence in Jimmie's (Janine's) anguish over her parents' fights, her worries about being ""physically retarded"" (still waiting for her first period at fourteen), her ""serious"" talks with Gram, and her growing resignation to her neurotic mother. But the characterization (even though some of the people ""change"" or are seen by Jimmie in a changing light) is too often either sledgehammer stereotype (the ""hoods"" on the bus, a girlfriend's generation-gapping father and brother) or static repetition of the same projection (the mother's pattern of reading, griping about world affairs, complaining of insomnia, and withdrawing from her family and the world). The continuity is frequently interrupted by gratuitous references and tiresome conversations about new lifestyles, fern lib, encounter groups and ecology, which instead of providing a convincing 1971 background just add to the strain.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1972
Publisher: Harper & Row