CONFESS-O-RAMA by Ron Koertge


Age Range: 12 & up
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 Two stressed teens help each other out in this overpopulated but polished suburban comedy from Koertge (Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright, 1994, etc.) The deaths of four husbands in succession having turned his mother into a grief junkie, and Tony is cast in the role of caregiver: He keeps her medication straight, jogs her elbow when she zones out, does most of the housework, and persuades her to eat. Unable to develop a social life, he finds solace in the kitchen and becomes an outstanding cook. His hope of staying invisible at a new school dissipates when he meets Jordan, a pushy classmate with a taste in apparel that runs to brassieres made from headlights and small dartboards; as she battles his reserve, he expertly rescues her from culinary and other disasters, meanwhile baring his soul to the anonymous Confess-O-Rama hotline. Though inflated by a few too many pointless or satiric cameos, the background cast displays an appealing mixture of wisdom and quirkiness, and the main players are far from stereotyped. Readers are likely to remember Tony for his kitchen skills, but he shows the stuff he's made of when--even after learning that Confess-O-Rama is Jordan's answering machine--he stands by her (with a couple of artichokes taped to his chest) after her sartorial nonconformity lands her in hot water with school authorities. Koertge takes some potshots at the art world and the usual teen novel targets as he explores an unconventional friendship with sensitivity. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-531-09515-0
Page count: 164pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1996


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