Reviews for Not Exactly a Love Story

AudioFile Reviews 2013 May
When Vinnie moves to Long Island with his mother and new stepfather, he develops a crush on Patsy, the seemingly unattainable girl next door. Narrator Maxwell Glick captures the nuances of Vinnie's character--his intelligence and resilience as well as his shyness and uncertainty. Set in 1977, much of the story revolves around the anonymous midnight phone calls Vinnie starts making to Patsy, during which he begins to get to know a side of her that's not visible during the day. Glick does a fine job with secondary characters, particularly Patsy, whom he gives just the right amount of sass. A sensitive and realistic exploration of acceptance and what knowing someone really means. A.F. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 March

Gr 9 Up--Non-athletic, 15-year-old Vinnie doesn't think life can get any worse than his dog dying, his case of hyperactive acne, and his parents' sudden divorce. Then his mother marries his gym teacher. The silver lining in the teenager's rain cloud is that their new home in Queens is next door to foxy, blonde Patsy. Even though he's too scared to talk to her, serendipity provides Vinnie with her phone number, which begins a series of anonymous midnight phone conversations. Under the protective blanket of darkness, his suave, witty alter ego emerges as Vincenzo, resulting in a strong bond of friendship--albeit one built on false identities. Yet, when Vinnie's inner knight-in-shining-armor surfaces in the boys locker room to defend Patsy's honor, a hero is born (although somewhat bruised and disheveled), and with it a daylight friendship. Thus begins the melding of Vinnie/Vincenzo. Ultimately, Vinnie discovers that the risk of rejection is worth a chance to walk through the scary parts of life holding your best friend's hand. Couloumbis weaves a heartwarming tale about the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of teenage life and love. Maxwell Glick's narration perfectly captures struggling Vinnie and self-confident Vincenzo's voices, but offers little variation for the other characters. A great listen.--Cheryl Preisendorfer, Twinsburg City Schools, OH

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