Seventeen-year-old Karen persists in renewing an old friendship with her classmate Connie when Connie comes down with AIDS, despite pressure from other students, her mother, and her best friends.
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Grade 7-12-- Karen Thompson is popular, a good student, and surrounded by friends--until she chooses to befriend a classmate who has been diagnosed with AIDS. Karen's close friends, including her boyfriend, abandon her, just as they abandon Connie and blame her for her illness. To its credit, the novel does not attempt to monitor destructive disease processes and avoids a melodramatic ending, choosing to focus on the social pressures AIDS patients face and on the value of constant, caring friends. Unfortunately, the first-person present narration does not always sound natural, utilizing dated phrases such as "this is deep" and "spinning disks," which will not ring true to readers. Plot contrivances, such as the use of a physically handicapped brother to help convert Karen's boyfriend to a more sympathetic stance, take away some sympathy from the characters. In fact, the unrelenting ugliness of most of the people surrounding Connie makes reading difficult. College-bound adolescents who act without decency or morality; a school nurse who refuses to help the girl; and parents who pressure their children to avoid her are counterbalanced only by Karen and two other boys who stick by Connie and a brief glimpse of saner faces at a public meeting early in the book. These negative characterizations do add to the intense mood of the novel and to the heroic depiction of the two girls. However, readers are left with a very real sense, given the lack of kindness and support reflected in the novel, that it may not be worth it to make the choices that Karen does. This is a timely treatment of a tragic topic, but it may leave readers despairing for us as human beings. --Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Sixteen-year-old Karen finds out that Connie, a former friend, has been diagnosed as having AIDS. With Karen on the college track and Connie barely hoping to graduate, the two have gone separate ways. Now Connie appears in Karen's biology class, assigned as her lab partner. As pressures mount to exclude Connie from school, Karen throws in her lot with her, first out of a sense of loyalty (Connie once dragged a despondent Karen out of the river), then out of rekindled affection. A popular cheerleader and member of the prestigious Homecoming Court, Karen loses friends and social standing but acquires new friends that the ``popular'' Karen would never have made, including the egghead editor of the school paper and nerdy Charles Bronson, who also takes an interest in Connie. Karen's first-person narration is both the novel's strength and its weakness: the record of her painful ostracism serves as a powerful indictment of the hysteria surrounding AIDS, but her arguments with her mother about social standing divert the reader's attention. Still, the politics and polemics of the epidemic are wisely avoided and some adolescent stereotypes are successfully subverted: popular Karen has brains and sensitivity; ``white trash'' Connie has ambitions, though they will never be realized. A thought-provoking, humanizing look at this terrible illness. (Fiction. 14+) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Descrizione libro Clarion Books, 1991. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0395580226
Descrizione libro Clarion Books. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0395580226 New Condition. Codice libro della libreria NEW6.3075480
Descrizione libro Clarion Books, 1991. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 395580226
Descrizione libro Clarion Books, 1991. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0395580226