Reviews for Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape)

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Fall
Full of small-town charm, this entertaining sequel to Tips on Having a Gay (Ex) Boyfriend finds Belle dealing with her senior year of high school, her insecurities about her boyfriend, and the scary news that her best friend is pregnant. Humorous and touching, this story will appeal to readers with its wit, wisdom, and sometimes brutal honesty. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 August

Gr 9 Up-- In this sequel to Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend (Flux, 2007), Belle is dealing with new issues in her life. As she finishes her final year of high school, she must come to terms with her dashed hopes of a future with Dylan. She must also deal with the many changes that seem to be taking place in the people around her, including her mother, who is seriously involved in a new romance. The main focus, though, is Belle's relationship with her new boyfriend, Tom, who at first seems reluctant to have sex with her, and a crisis situation with her friend Em and Em's boyfriend. Throughout the story, Belle copes in her own quirky way by playing folk music on her guitar and making lists, and the book concludes with one final list, "Things I Am Right Now." This is a thoughtful and often humorous read, and while there are almost too many different issues going on here (teen pregnancy, physical abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, gay bashing, life-threatening allergic reactions), Jones manages to make it all work. Her descriptions of life in a small town where everyone knows your business are spot-on, as are her depictions of high school. An occasional character is over-the-top, but Belle herself is a likable, believable character whose emotional crises will resonate with teens.--Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ

[Page 124]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

VOYA Reviews 2008 June
Belle returns in this sequel to Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend (Flux/Llewellyn, 2006/VOYA June 2007) with a new dilemma. Why does her boyfriend Tom not want to go all the way with her? While she is puzzling out that dilemma, Belle continues to deal with her father's death, the return of her seizures, and her friend Em's unplanned pregnancy. Discovering that Tom's mother made huge sacrifices to be a teenage mother gives Belle more context, but it fails to resolve her conflict. Through the daily turmoil, Belle questions her identity and that of her peers. Her final conclusion-that she is a fine person-falls a little flat, but perhaps a third book will round things out. Although this book takes itself too seriously at times, teens looking for realistic characters and issues will find something here. Belle's search for identity and her medical problems keep her from being a run-of-the-mill protagonist. On the other hand, she sometimes pontificates like a self-help book, and her ability to smile lovingly on her former sexual partner's new gender preferences is extraordinarily unrealistic. Teens will dig right into Belle's relationship dilemmas, fully empathizing with her insecurities. Try this title with readers of Before I Die (David Fickling Books/Random House, 2007) for a lighter look at teen pregnancy and sexuality.-Caitlin Augusta 3Q 4P S Copyright 2008 Voya Reviews.