WHATEVER WORDS YOU WANT TO HEAR by Susan Beth Pfeffer

WHATEVER WORDS YOU WANT TO HEAR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Almost entirely in dialogue and in a tone of near clinical dispassion, Paula tells of her meeting with nice Jonny Stapleton and his fucked up brother Jordan who forces her on their first date to choose between them, and of her no-strings summer affair with rude, attractive Jordan just before she is to enter Princeton. Jordan, a petty delinquent since early childhood, openly uses Paula to fill a dull summer with quick sex and long conversations; he breaks dates, never pays his way, and demands that she drive him about in her car -- on one occasion to the apartment of a former girlfriend whom he moons over in Paula's presence. On completion the story leaves an odd impression of honesty without depth or even insight, despite extensive evidence (convincing enough on a case history level) linking both Paula's and Jordan's behavior to that of their parents. Still, all those probing personal conversations have a sort of voyeuristic fascination and, often, a brittle smart directness that less articulate girls will envy. And though Jordan is unusually nasty, many girls' first experiences with love and sex are probably just this unromantic; thus it's gratifying to meet a young heroine who takes it with equanimity.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1974
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Walck